Sharks winger Logan Couture was one of the first North American skaters to join a team overseas when the NHL lockout hit, when he followed in captain Joe Thorntons footsteps and signed on with a team in Switzerland on Sept. 17.
While it goes without saying that Couture would rather be playing NHL hockey and collecting NHL paychecks in San Jose, the talented scorer told the Globe and Mail that hes enjoying his time abroad while playing for Geneva.
This is a great experience for me, he told the paper.
Every hockey player wants to play in the NHL. Its a childhood dream for every Canadian. We want to reach a deal but if it doesnt happen, Ill be happy to continue playing in Geneva.
In 10 games for Geneve-Servette HC, based in Geneva, Couture has three goals and seven assists for 10 points. That production is a good sign, as Couture had offseason shoulder surgery that may have contributed to his lack of production down the stretch last season.
Couture is playing on a line with Dan Fritche, who played 256 NHL games with Minnesota, Columbus and the New York Rangers; and Kevin Romy, a former Philadelphia Flyers fourth round pick that has spent his entire pro career in Switzerland.
Couture hasnt sensed any negative emotions from being in Switzerland, and his presence there hasnt resulted in someone else losing his job, according to the paper.
I havent felt any tension, he said. A lot of Canadians are playing here with Swiss passports. From the beginning it was easy to get along with the guys. I have good relations with everyone.
Coutures club is at the top of the league with a 12-3 mark. Thorntons Davos team, incidentally, is just 5-7-3 and in 10th place in the 12-team league. The Sharks' captain has three goals and nine assists in 12 games.