(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner)
Late last night, Ray Ratto broke the news that Logan Couture and the Sharks had agreed to a 2 year contract extension. This morning, Twitter tells us that the numbers are $2.75M for the first year and $3M for the second. That sounds eminently reasonable considering what Couture brings to the team.
I don’t put much stock in talk of Couture contracting sophomoritis this season. Being picky about details, I might say this is only sort of his second NHL season. He played a lot in the 2009-2010 season. Maybe the end of last season was his sophomore slump. If that’s all we had to fear I can live with that. More importantly, I don’t believe he’s wired that way.
Couture was always one of the first players to call out the team for not playing well, but most importantly, never failed to direct the majority of his critiques towards himself. -Jason Plank, Fear The Fin.
Combined with his performance on the ice, his public statements indicate that he is a very self-motivated young man. He is entirely capable of leading when the team needs him, he doesn’t need to be shown the way.
The length of Couture’s contract confirms the idea that the Sharks are working on a deadline:
Couture’s extension will carry him to the 2015 offseason, … Couture, Dan Boyle, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Pavelski will all hit [free agency] that offseason, –ibid
Like some kind of doomsday prediction, the team is scheduled to blow up in 2014. It isn’t doomsday, it’s the organizational life cycle. It seems a long ways off, as NHL seasons go, but it will probably go by in the blink of an eye. In reality, the deadline is now, not 2014.
Some fans are concerned that this contract doesn’t really make us safe as far as keeping Couture around. Some worry he could be traded away like Seto was. I believe that most of us know the two players are not comparable, and there aren’t a lot of players like Brent Burns to go get anyway. So I’m not too worried about that.
Some folks like longer contracts. I don’t, I understand Wilson doesn’t either. Sure, it makes a player and the fans feel like there’s nothing to worry about, like the player is locked up forever. But 7 to 10 plus year contracts ignore the reality of changing seasons, how a team and even the game can change over a few years. To ignore that is unreasonable. If the team isn’t allowed to adapt to changes, it can’t be as competitive as it should be.
Change is inevitable, fighting it is unproductive.
Speaking of change, I want to make a note of a change over at Fear the Fin. Ivano M, aka @IvanoSJ, has written his retirement post, in anticipation of not being able to give blogging his best because of other duties like parenting a new baby. I’d like to thank him for his past work and speculate that he may return again. He’s still young, he’s got a few good seasons left in him;) The best of luck to Ivano.