The Sharks made it official on Sunday, and officially signed center Logan Couture to an eight-year contract extension, San Jose general manager Doug Wilson announced. The team did not disclose terms of the deal, but it reportedly carries an $8 million cap hit.
"Logan is a difference maker and has the proven ability to elevate his game when his team needs him the most," said GM Doug Wilson in a statement. "His leadership, on and off the ice, combined with his high skill level and hockey sense make him a crucial component to this team's success. We're thrilled that Logan has made this long-term commitment to the team and to the community."
The 29-year-old scored a career-high 34 goals (as well as 61 points) last season, and has scored at least 20 goals in all but one of his nine NHL seasons, each of which has been spent with the Sharks. He added another 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the playoffs, leading the team in postseason scoring for the second time in the last three years.
By Corsica Hockey's Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric, Couture ranked fourth among all players in 2017-18, only behind Connor McDavid, William Karlsson, and Nikita Kucherov. Over the last five seasons, only 10 skaters have contributed more WAR every 82 games, according to Corsica founder Emmannuel Perry.
Couture is entering the final year of a five-year, $30 million that was signed ahead of the 2013-14 season and kicked in a year later. Should he finish out his extension, he will have played 18 seasons in San Jose, one shy of Patrick Marleau's franchise record.
A first-round pick in 2007, Couture is the third Sharks players player to sign an eight-year extension before hitting unrestricted free agency in the last three years. Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic signed a year ago, and fellow blueliner Brent Burns signed in the middle of his Norris Trophy-winning season in November, 2016.
That's more than all but three teams, the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, and Los Angeles Kings, who have all signed three pending UFAs to eight-year deals. The Kings joined the club on Sunday, with the announcement of defenseman Drew Doughty's extension.