Couture enjoying time in Switzerland

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Couture enjoying time in Switzerland

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.

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

After five seasons with the Sharks, Larry Robinson is leaving the organization.

Robinson, 65, spent the last three seasons as the club's director of player development. He served as an associate coach from 2012-14.

TSN in Montreal and the Montreal Gazette originally reported the news.

The Sharks confirmed that Robinson's contract would be expiring, and general manager Doug Wilson told NBC Sports California that the divorce was amicable, and "because of geography." Robinson lives in Florida.

According to the Montreal Gazette

Robinson’s contract with the Sharks expires on July 1, but agent Donnie Cape said Thursday that San Jose general manager Doug Wilson has given him permission to speak with other teams. Robinson lives in Bradenton, Fla., and the long travel distance to San Jose is one of big the reasons he’s looking for a new team to work for.

Robinson seemed to ponder retirement in 2014, but signed a three-year extension to remain in the Sharks' front office. He worked mostly from his home in Florida the past two seasons, making occasional trips to San Jose, including during training camp.

In the summer of 2015, Robinson underwent surgery for skin cancer.

Recognized as one of the best defensemen in NHL history, Robinson won six Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens as a player, and holds the NHL record for playing 20 straight seasons in the playoffs. A 10-time All-Star and two-time Norris Trophy winner, Robinson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robinson was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 1995-99, and the New Jersey Devils from 1999-2002 and again in 2005-06. He led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2000. Robinson has nine Stanley Cup rings as a player and coach.

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The Sharks did not renew the contract of pro scout Jason Rowe, who had been with the organization for the past nine seasons. Rowe focused on eastern NHL and AHL teams.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.