Last offseason, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson signed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goalie Martin Jones to long-term deals. This offseason, the front office will look to do the same with center Logan Couture.
The 29-year-old will be headed into the final season of a five-year, $30MM contract he signed back in 2013. After having spent his entire career with the organization (and after having led the Sharks with 34 goals last season), Couture is hoping his career will continue in San Jose.
“I’ve always made it pretty clear that this is the place I want to play,” Couture told Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News. “I’m biased, obviously, but this is the best place to play hockey in the world.”
Wilson seemed to echo that sentiment.
“His play spoke volumes,” Wilson said. “When guys went down or (Patrick Marleau) wasn’t coming back, guys stepping up and showing what they’re made of. They’re ready to have even bigger roles on this team. He’s played internationally…People respect what Logan Couture has done. You take a look at the numbers, what he did a couple of years ago, what he did this year, in the playoffs — he’s a really important part of this organization both now and the future, absolutely.”
Let’s take a look at more notes out of San Jose, all via Pashelka…
- Forward Tomas Hertl, who established career-highs in goals (22) and average ice time (18:06) this past season, will be headed to restricted free agency this summer. Predictably, Wilson indicated that he’d like the 24-year-old to return. “Tomas is a really important part of how he played is exactly how we expected him,” Wilson said. “He stepped it up to the next level. Looking in this league how the game is played, he’s got size, he’s got hockey sense. He’s a guy that is truly a difference maker…I think his game is only going to get better. He’s a big part of this franchise.”
- Hertl is in line for a long-term contract after completing the two-year bridge contract he signed back in 2016, and it sounds like he’d like to stick around. “We’ll see what happens, but I love it here with the Sharks,” Hertl said. “The team, organization, everybody. We’ll see. My agent, Doug hopefully figure it out soon. I want to just get it done. It would be nice. I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay here and hopefully win Cups.”
- As Pashelka writes, it’s uncertain how long Pete DeBoer’s contract is, but Wilson confirmed that the coach will be back next season. The Sharks will also retain assistants Steve Spott, Rob Zettler, Dave Barr, Johan Hedberg and Dan Darrow. “I think our coaches did a very good job. They were a part of this journey and this plan,” Wilson said. “When we talk transition, every team in the league had to transition how the game is played, where it’s at, where it’s going. And I think not only the inclusion of some younger players, but adjusting how we play. I think Pete and our coaching staff are open-minded, curious, and have done a very good job. And yes, they are our coaches going forward.”
- As we heard earlier today, Joe Thornton attempted to come back from a torn right ACL and MCL he suffered back in January. The veteran also indicated that he wanted to return to the Sharks on a one-year deal.