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Flyers Name Sean Couturier Captain; What it Means for Team’s Future

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Sean Couturier
The Philadelphia Flyers named Sean Couturier the 20th captain in franchise history on Wednesday night. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers, quite randomly, announced Wednesday night that longtime forward Sean Couturier would serve as the 20th captain in franchise history.

The timing of this is interesting because the Flyers have already played 54 games this season; this is not something usually done in the middle of February.

The Flyers also announced that forwards Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny would serve as the alternate captains. Laughton has served in this role for each of the last two seasons.

What immediately stands out to me is that the consensus was that Laughton was the de facto captain. The 29-year-old was always the team’s choice for special events and honorary faceoffs, as recently as Monday night’s PAL (Police Athletic League) Game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Ironically, the Coyotes also didn’t have a captain at the time, so for the Flyers’ PAL Game faceoff, Lawson Crouse and Laughton represented the two clubs.

Laughton’s name, of course, has been embroiled in trade rumors for most of the last three months. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if Couturier’s captaincy was bestowed with that partially in mind. That’s not to say Couturier hasn’t earned it, because he has. Flyers general manager Danny Briere said so himself.

“Sean Couturier is an ideal choice to be the next leader of the Philadelphia Flyers,” Briere said in a press release. “Sean was drafted here and has made Philadelphia his home. I have personally seen his development from a responsible forward to one of the best two-way centerman in the game and a playoff performer. The adversity he has had to overcome has only strengthened his proven leadership. In this New Era of Orange with Dan Hilferty, Keith Jones, and John Tortorella at the helm, we couldn’t be more proud to call him captain.”

It’s such a great honor. It’s a really prestigious organization so this makes it even more special. This city is my home and I love it here,” reciprocated Couturier. “It’s going to be business as usual for me. Nothing is really going to change from me or my game and how I approach things. I love my teammates, how we have grown as a group and I want to make sure we keep going on the right path here.”

Head coach John Tortorella, who (obviously) played a part in making the decision, didn’t offer much in the way of Flyers trade rumors. When asked about Laughton and the trade rumors after practice on Wednesday, he replied, “It is what it is.”

The good news, though, is that the Flyers are in more than good hands with Couturier spearheading this young group.

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