The San Jose Sharks are at a defining point as a franchise. The team has a mix of veterans with two to three years left of consistent productivity and young players with incredibly bright futures.
Do those numbers sound familiar?
Logan Couture signed an identical contract extension just last month. While both players possess two different playing styles, the impact of Pavelski’s contract remains: He clearly means a lot to the Sharks.
Pavelski is not the vocal leader of the Sharks, nor is he the consistent go-to player on offense for the Sharks. However, he is a two-way player, still young and entering the prime of his career.
He was also entering the final year of his contract, and the 2014 free agency period was destined to make Pavelski a very valuable and coveted player on the market.
While Pavelski is not the player Couture is, at least not at the moment, the position he was in and the pressure that was seemingly put on the Sharks franchise was enough to make Pavelski of the same monetary worth as Couture.
The situation does not add up, though. Couture is the heart and soul of the Sharks—effective seemingly at the midpoint of last season. He is the future captain and the offensive backbone of the Sharks.
Pavelski’s contract extension on Tuesday simply confirmed that Couture’s deal was an absolute steal from the Sharks’ perspective. While Pavelski’s value on the ice reasonably matched the numbers of his contract extension, Couture will do so much more for the franchise than what he will be getting paid— allowing the Sharks to successfully reload and build around the core of Pavelski, Couture, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. All four players are now signed through at least 2017, with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle expected to receive short-term offers to wind down their careers in San Jose during that same period.
While the contract extensions for Pavelski and Couture were expected and virtual no-brainers, the numbers were what mattered, and the Sharks now have the building blocks in place to remain successful for the foreseeable future.
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