Captain of the San Jose Sharks
Mediaplanet caught up with Logan Couture, Guelph, ON native and captain of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, about holiday memories, Celebration 2021, and giving back to the community.
Since you have to spend a lot of the winter on the road with the NHL, what do you miss the most about the holiday season back home?
During the holidays we get three days off, so I usually spend Christmas in San Jose. I miss the snow — but not the cold — and spending time with all my family and friends. This year is exciting because my girlfriend and I got a puppy, so it’ll be our first holiday season with her.
Growing up, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day back in Guelph and then London, ON were all about family and food — tons of food. But as long as I remember, even as a little kid, I was somewhere in a hockey tournament on Boxing Day. My parents have always sacrificed a long holiday break to let me pursue my passion.
With no confirmation of an NHL season, what are your holiday plans this year? And how is giving back part of that?
I’m sitting and waiting in San Jose to try to pass the time. I’m at the gym and rink most days and looking forward to the start of the season — whenever that is. I can’t wait to get back on the ice with the team!
Giving back has always been very important to me. We started the All-in for Brain Research Charity Casino four years ago in London and then expanded to Kitchener-Waterloo, ON in 2018. It was launched under CFL all-star Andy Fantuz’s name in Hamilton, ON last year, and plans were in place to be in every CFL and NHL city for 2020. Our initial focus was on concussions, but this year some of the funds will be going to help with kids’ participation in sports. Kids haven’t been able to have any sort of physical outlet in most sports since March and this has had a significant negative impact on their mental health. The funds we raise will help alleviate some of these issues by giving kids tools and resources to play sports at home, in their basements, on their driveways, or in parks — with proper physical distancing, of course.
Can you tell us more about All-in for Brain Research?
The pandemic has put our charity casinos on hold until 2021, but this year we hope to raise considerable funds for the worthy cause of research on concussions and brain health through our recently-launched online fundraiser at couture39.com called Celebration 2021, presented by BMO Private Wealth. It’ll help us celebrate the end of 2020 and plan for better things to come in 2021 with sports and time with friends and family.
People can contribute in many ways, including purchasing signed limited-edition prints by London artist Scott Kish, checking out the online auctions of some amazing items including autographed jerseys from some of the top NHL stars, and buying my LoCo Hazy IPA through partnerships with Forked River Brewery in London and Hapa’s Brewing Company in San Jose. All proceeds will go to the charity.
Why do you think recreation and access to sport activities are critical for youth experiencing homelessness?
For some kids, sports are the only positive outlet they have. There are countless stories of homeless kids, some who have gone on to be professional athletes, who spent hours shooting hoops or playing ball at the park, or any physical activity to take the focus away from their very difficult situation.
What message do you have youth experiencing homelessness over the holidays?
We see you — you’re not alone. There are a number of people working hard to provide resources. If you need some support, there are great organizations like Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth.
Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth
Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth is an award-winning organization that provides emergency shelter and transitional housing. Eva’s helps youth learn how to live on their own while still being supported and provides programming like hands-on employment and training programs to help youth experiencing homelessness reach their full potential. Organizations like Eva’s are always in need of financial support so they can continue providing support to vulnerable communities. To learn how you can support youth experiencing homelessness, fill out the form below and a representative from Eva’s will get in touch.