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Joe Pavelski, Sharks agree on 5-year extension; overpaid or solid investment?

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The best thing to happen to the San Jose Sharks: They became the team of Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, rather than the Thornton/Marleau/Boyle triumvirate.

This isn’t to disparage what those veterans have meant to the Sharks, or what they still mean, but the generational transition to those two players (with a dash of Antti Niemi) gives this team a hunger – and, let’s face it, heart – from which champions are born.

The Sharks signed Couture earlier this summer to a 5-year, $30-million extension, and did the same with Pavelski on Tuesday: 5 years, $30 million, beginning in 2014-15.

He’ll make $4 million against the cap in 2013-14. Couture will make $2.875 million against the cap this season before his extension kicks in.

From the Sharks:

“Joe has been an important part of our success over the last several years and we are excited to have him with our club for the next six seasons,” said GM Doug Wilson.

In 2012-13, Pavelski finished tied-for-third on the team in points (31), ranked third in goals (16), assists (15) and shots (130) and appeared in all 48 regular season games for San Jose. Amongst all NHL players, Pavelski ranked tied for sixth in game-winning goals (5), tied for fourth in home goals (13) and tied for ninth amongst League forwards in blocked shots (44).

Take out the 5-game flop in 2012, and Pavelski has 39 points in his last 44 playoff games. On a team that’s been the antithesis of “clutch,” Pavelski’s been an exception.

So Couture and Pavelski both come in with a slightly higher cap hit than Dustin Brown, for fewer seasons. “Oh, but Dustin Brown has a Cup!” you say. Well … the Sharks. That’s all I got.

The money is what it is. They’d both get it anywhere else. And keep in mind it's a post CBA 2.0 deal -- Doug Wilson doesn't usually traffic in the "lifetime" contracts, but who knows what these deals look like under the old rules?

With Thornton, Marleau and Boyle in the last years of their deals, and Martin Havlat either gone in two years or traded before then, the Sharks can handle these hits when the cap rises again.

The bottom line is that Couture is a star (or becoming one), Pavelski can be the Robin to his Batman and the Sharks have solidified their foundation for the next six seasons.

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