Two years later, Couture’s getting some redemption.
On Tuesday, the NHL announced that Couture would replace Dallas forward Jamie Benn on Team Canada’s roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Benn had hoped to be ready for the tournament following offseason core muscle surgery but, with training camps just weeks away, it became evident he’d be unable to participate.
Benn’s disappointment is a huge boon for Couture, however.
The 27-year-old earned this Team Canada spot on the heels of a terrific campaign. Though he missed extensive time to a “catastrophic” leg injuries — first breaking his fibula, then discovering an arterial bleed in his thigh — Couture still managed to score 36 points in 52 games during the regular season.
And in the playoffs, he broke out.
Couture led all scorers with 20 assists and 30 points in 24 games, and finished with a handful of Conn Smythe votes. His level of play thoroughly impressed onlookers, and has reportedly been “bulking up” this offseason to withstand the rigors of a full NHL campaign.
While Couture is certainly worthy of the spot, it’s interesting that Canada passed on a pair of talented wingers — Taylor Hall and Corey Perry — to fill Benn’s spot. Couture is versatile and can play across the lineup, but mostly spends his time with the Sharks at center.