Recent news indicates that, even if that was the case, it is no longer.
ESPN's Pierre Lebrun is reporting that Couture came home to spend time with family after preparing himself for the NHL season in Switzerland, only to be disappointed once again at the NHL and NHLPA's inability to come to an agreement.
"It was tough to watch it unfold," Couture told ESPN.com Monday night. "I was watching it all on TSN like I’m sure a lot of people were. You’re so happy at one point, but two minutes later it feels like your heart is ripped out of you."
"From what we’ve heard, our view I think as a union is that we’re close to getting a deal done," Couture said. "It’s tough to hear [the NHL's] view on it, but hopefully they change their mind over the next little while before it’s too late. Because the game has made some great strides over the last few years, especially in some U.S. cities. It would be tough to miss an entire year."
Couture played in 22 games for Geneva-Switzerland, tallying seven goals and 16 assists, and has said he is in playing shape.
"I went over there to get into shape and it got to the point where I figured I was," said the two-time 30-goal NHL scorer. "I felt good over there. Obviously, it’s much different than the NHL, but there’s still some pretty good players playing in that league over there. It’s a good league. I felt ready for this season to start over here."
And so he waits, as does the rest of the NHL.
It feels like Couture played the NHL lockout exactly how he should have with one minor snag in scheduling. He went overseas in search of good competition to keep himself ready for the NHL season, even becoming one of the team's most consistent weapons on offense. But after receiving news that the lockout was close to ending, he bolted for home.
Couture has been one of the more outspoken NHL players during this lockout period, and for good reason. He played the NHL lockout game perfectly and still lost.
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