Last summer, the Sharks moved quickly to get a pair of core players locked up as soon as the window to sign contract extensions opened up as they inked defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goalie Martin Jones to long-term deals. It appears they may be heading down that route again this summer as Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports (subscription required) that talks on a new deal are progressing with center Logan Couture and that they’re hoping to have a deal done for July 1st, the first day an extension can be made official.
The 29-year-old has been a fixture in San Jose’s lineup for the better part of the last decade after they made him the ninth-overall selection back in 2007. He’s coming off of a career year in goals (34) and adapted well when he was asked to spend some time on the left wing. Couture is set to earn $6MM in 2018-19 and will undoubtedly get a raise from the Sharks on this new contract.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Still from LeBrun, the Jets have yet to begin contract talks with pending UFA center Paul Stastny. The 32-year-old played a key role for Winnipeg in their postseason run but with Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little locked up long-term, it’s hard to imagine there’s room for him unless they find a way to move a sizable contract out. Stastny is set to hit the open market as the top pivot not named John Tavares and will draw plenty of interest around the league.
- Among the pieces that the Hurricanes are interested in from Chicago in their trade talks regarding defenseman Justin Faulk and goaltender Scott Darling is winger Brandon Saad, reports Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. The 25-year-old failed to have the type of impact the Blackhawks were hoping for when they reacquired him last year as part of the Artemi Panarin trade. However, after averaging 51 points over the previous four seasons, it’s reasonable to expect that he will have a bounce-back campaign in 2018-19, something that Carolina likely believes as well.