Flyers name Sean Couturier 20th captain in franchise history

Sean Couturier becomes the 20th captain in franchise history.
Sean Couturier becomes the 20th captain in franchise history. / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

After almost two full seasons without a captain, the Philadelphia Flyers have decided to change that. Since Claude Giroux's departure, the team had only gone with alternates. This season, Scott Laughton was the only player wearing a letter on his jersey. That is no more.

Sean Couturier has been named the franchise's 20th captain. Along with this announcement, Laughton will continue to serve as an alternate captain. Travis Konecny also joins the leadership group, the first time he will be in that role. The decision comes at an intriguing time as the franchise is on the cusp of heading back to the playoffs in a year that they officially committed to a rebuild.

“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,” said Couturier in a press release from the Flyers. “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.”

The decision to name Couturier captain should not be a surprising one. Drafted in 2011, Couturier has only called Philadelphia home and stressed after his eight-year extension that this is the city that he wanted to call home. He has been thrown through many ups and downs with the organization. At 31 years old, Couturier has appeared in 771 career games with the Flyers. He won the first Selke Trophy of his career in 2020 and could've had a few more under his belt. It's hard to think of the Flyers organization and not have Couturier's name come to mind.

"Sean Couturier is an ideal choice to be the next leader of the Philadelphia Flyers," said Flyers General Manager, Daniel Briere in the same 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 centermen 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."

What has made Couturier's recent success even better is that he missed almost two seasons with a back injury that forced him to have multiple surgeries. While missing most of the 2021-22 season, Couturier would miss the entirety of the 2022-23 season. Many wondered if he would even be able to come back. And even if he did, would he be the same player he was before? Couturier has put those doubters to rest.

Couturier has missed some time this season with minor ailments but has looked the part of the 200-foot player he has been well-known to be. He is fifth on the team in goals (11) and third in points (33). His advanced metrics show a player who has shaken any rust off from missing time. His 57.66 CF% and 58.33 FF% easily top all Flyers' players. The Flyers outshoot and outscore teams with Couturier on the ice. It's why he could be up for another Selke award by the end of this season.

The honor for Couturier is a deserving one. His legacy in Philadelphia will only continue to grow.