The news first came from CSN Bay Area and CBSSports.com writer Ray Ratto, who broke the news late Thursday. The new contract calls for Couture to make $2.75 million in the first year of the deal then $3 million in Year 2.
"We reached a number that was fair to both sides," Couture said. "I want to play in San Jose, I want to stay there and I want to win there. I was happy to get the deal done."
Couture, a Calder Trophy finalist as the NHL's top rookie last season, was slated to become a restricted free agent after next season when he is due to make about $1.25 million. So now the 22-year-old will be under contract through the 2013-2014 season.
"Logan is an excellent teammate and he proved it by committing to the team-first philosophy that we have instilled here," GM Dough Wilson said. "Last season, as a rookie, he was a catalyst for our hockey club as one of our most consistent players. Over the last two postseasons, he has been one of our most reliable players. We’re excited to see him build upon his early success and continue his growth over the next three seasons."
Couture was a bit of a revelation last season in San Jose, breaking out with 32 goals and 24 assists in his first full campaign. For much of the season, he looked like the team's best player and somebody who can help continue to carry the Sharks torch in the Pacific.
"Obviously, it was a successful year last year for myself," Couture said. "My goal coming into this year is to improve as a player. I'm not looking at specific statistical numbers. I want to improve my all-around game, be better on the penalty kill. I still want to score goals and points, but I want to just improve as a player."
Signing Couture presumably puts an end to a busy summer for the Sharks who now have the majority of their biggest contributors locked up through the next two seasons (Cap Geek), at a minimum. Add the core sticking around with the additions of such players as Brent Burns and Martin Havlat, the Sharks will undoubtedly be contending for the Cup again this season.
"I'm just excited to get back to the team with the changes we made," Couture said. "We're definitely a better team."
We've seen some problems with teams trying to tie up their restricted free agents this offseason, such as Drew Doughty in Los Angeles, so it's good to get it done this far in advance to when they don't have to worry about it.
So I can't imagine you can find anything not to like about this move, unless you're a fan of one of the Sharks' division foes.
Photo: Getty Images
The Associated Press contributed to this report