Logan Couture’s loyalty to the Sharks, along with maybe a little uncertainty over what the next collective bargaining agreement will look like, have inspired him to sign a two-year extension with San Jose.

The club officially announced the deal today, which it was later revealed will pay the 22-year-old center $2.75 million in 2012-13 and $3 million the year after. Couture, a former ninth overall pick (2007), will make around $1.25 million this season and would have been eligible for restricted free agency next summer under the current CBA (which expires next fall).

So here we have Couture, who plays the ever-important center position and last season was the runner-up for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year after he put up 32-24-56 totals in his first NHL season. And in Boston we have winger Brad Marchand, who is a restricted free agent at 23 years old and coming off a regular season that featured 21-20-41 totals before an amazing 11-goal playoffs.

Earlier this summer, Teddy Purcell re-signed with Tampa Bay for two years at a cap hit of around $2.3 million per season. The 25-year-old RFA put up 17-34-51 totals in his first full NHL season. If Purcell set the low bar for Marchand’s new deal with the Bruins, Couture has seemingly set the high bar. Sure, it’s always a little different when a guy signs an extension vs. re-signs as a RFA. But it’s difficult to make an argument that based on stats, potential and importance to his team that Marchand should make more or even as much as a player like Couture.