Let's say, for arguments sake, that neither Thornton nor Marleau will be wearing a letter when the Sharks open the 2014-2015 season. Let's assume that they are 'passing the torch' to the younger players in the organization.
Who gets the letters? Let's look at the real candidates, and there aren't many.
I'm not a fan of the captain and three alternate systems, I think it waters down the weight of the letter. Going traditionally with a captain and two alternates that means that only one of the above players will be letter-less come October.
It's pretty cut and dry for me who gets what. The odd man out is Brent Burns. Although he is a veteran player for the Sharks I just don't see him sticking around as long as the other three players. Once the Sharks remember why they moved Burns to the forward group last year, because he can't play defense, they are going to explore their options with the 29 year old.
Logan Couture is the face of the forward group, Vlasic is the face of the defenders and Pavelski provides the calm veteran demeanor for the three being the oldest of the bunch.
My captain is Marc-Eduoard Vlasic. The Sharks are a team built on a defensive system and I believe that when your team is built as such then the face of the defense must be the guy that everyone looks to.
Couture and Pavelski come in as alternates and the torch is officially passed over from Thornton and Marleau.
The Sharks already had a good amount of knuckles before they signed the talentless John Scott. Brown, Desjardins and Torres were more than capable of handling a part of the game that rarely makes an appearance in the Sharks game plan.
Now with the 6'8" Scott in the picture, hopefully minimally, it looks like the Sharks are gearing up for war. Sure, the Western Conference is a tough place to play, but do you really need John Scott? Anaheim is probably the most consistently rough team in the West as far as dropping the mitts go, but even still I can't imagine a scenario where having John Scott on the ice is beneficial to team teal.
The way I see it is if the Sabres no longer want the behemoth that they let through the gates of the NHL in the first place then no one should want him (it). Buffalo was stocking up for a battle with the Bruins and Leafs after the two teams beat up on the Northeast Division during the lockout when they brought in Scott.
If John Scott is to play at all for the Sharks, and we have to assume he's going to dress at some point, I sincerely hope he won't be a sideshow like he was in Buffalo when he tried to jump Phil Kessel and played victim after Kessel took a few Barry Bonds swings at his ankles. The Sharks, however collapsible in mid-April and beyond, have been a relatively classy team in their existence and John Scott doesn't need to come in an muddy that up. We already have the make nice project that is Raffi Torres, there's no need for another.
Thanks for reading!