What was reported by Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday (and his always excellent 30 Thoughts this morning) has just been confirmed by Brodie Brazil: Logan Couture has agreed to a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks.
The contract extension cannot be officially signed until July 5, when Couture's current deal is a year away from expiring. However, it shadows the deal the Pittsburgh Penguins made with Evgeni Malkin, not letting a young cornerstone centerman come close to free agency.
No word yet as to what the salary or cap hit is on the deal.
Over the past three seasons, Logan Couture has emerged as the face of the next generation of Sharks and has helped reshape the image of the franchise. This obviously was a priority for the Sharks and Doug Wilson this offseason, and I'm glad it happened sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Uncle Bob provides the full terms of the deal: 5 years, $30 million meaning a $6 million annual cap hit.
Logan Couture's contract extension with SJS is 5 years at $6 million per year. Can't be signed til July 5. Makes $2.875M next season.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 18, 2013
Given the RFA contracts signed by comparable players to Couture in Jordan Eberle, Tyler Seguin and Jeff Skinner, this seems to be about market value given that the Sharks are essentially locking up the entirety of Couture's prime years. What matters now is how his $3.125 million hike in cap hit affects the re-signing of Joe Pavelski in particular as well as the decisions the franchise will be faced with on the Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle fronts.