James van Riemsdyk and Logan Couture both had relatively good seasons last year.
Both Couture and van Riemsdyk were entering the final years of their entry level contracts.
Now it may seem fairly obvious that van Riemsdyk got a better deal up front than Couture did.
But this slideshow will go through the reasons that I believe Logan Couture actually has a more profitable contract than his fellow 2007 first-round draftee counterpart.
Logan Couture received less money than James van Reimsdyk over the first two years of each respective contract.
But his ability to become a free agent or sign a further extension, after this extension is up at the end of the 2013-14 season, means that he could end up making more than van Riemsdyk over the next four years of van Reimsdyk's contract.
This only makes sense, because quite frankly, Couture putting up more goals (32), more assists (24) and more points (56) than van Reimsdyk and still getting a lower amount of money on the extension is baffling to me.
Giving Couture the option to make more money than the $3 million (per CapGeek.com) that he is scheduled to make in the last year of his extension makes sense, because van Reimsdyk will be reportedly making over $4 million in every year of his six year deal.
While van Riemsdyk is locked up for six years, Couture could be well on his way to 70-80 point seasons and making over $5 million, after his extension expires.
In a few seasons, we could look back on the van Riemsdyk deal and say that they got a bargain at just over $4 million a year.
Ah yes, the dreaded trading block.
Sometimes the biggest disturbance to a player can be the threat of being traded.
If van Reimsdyk's contract (which is still being sorted out) does not have a no-trade clause in it, he could find himself on the trading block if he does not pan out in Philadelphia.
Six years is an awfully long time to play for a team and van Riemsdyk could be traded, if he does not excel during his new contract.
Couture only has a two year extension, so he would have more leeway to leave the Sharks if the need arose.
Here's hoping that van Reimsdyk excels in his role, or we could see another Jeff Carter situation arise.
Carter got traded to a bottom of the barrel team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, because of salary cap issues.
Finally, and most obviously, the higher your salary, the more people expect of you.
This is true in many leagues, and hockey is no different.
After this season, van Reimsdyk's extension will kick in. And when it does, you better believe the microscope will be turned up on him.
Van Reimsdyk is not under the microscope yet, as he is in the final year of his entry deal. But he, like other players given big contracts this season, will be under scrutiny soon enough.
Ericsson and van Reimsdyk cannot escape the eye in the sky.
On the other hand, giving Logan Couture a lesser contract means that even if he stumbles in a "sophomore slump" this season, fans will not be as harsh towards him because they know he is capable of hitting the 30 goal and 50 point plateaus.
As we can see, more points doesn't exactly mean more money.
But as I have just illustrated in the previous three slides, there can be perks to not taking the long term, big money deal.
All Couture has to do is keep up an effort level similar to last year's and he will ultimately end up with a bigger contract the next time around, most likely more than van Riemsdyk received today.
Couture could still play on a second or third line, so I have a feeling he won't face too much resistance in getting back to his 30 goal level.
On the other hand, van Riemsdyk's long term deal may end up being his undoing, if he does not hold up his end of the contract.
The fans in Philadelphia are Cup hungry. They have not experienced a Cup championship since 1975.
If van Riemsdyk is to prove himself with this new contract, he must be more of a force offensively and lead his team back to the promised land.
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