Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu, right, celebrates his NHL hockey game-winning goal in overtime with center Andrew Cogliano at an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Andrew Cogliano already never leaves the Ducks' lineup, and the speedy forward's new contract extension will keep him in Anaheim for four more years.
Cogliano agreed to a $12 million extension through the 2017-18 season with the Ducks on Saturday.
Cogliano is on pace for the best season of his NHL career with 13 goals, 12 assists and a plus-16 rating in 43 games, but the durable playmaker had no interest in testing the free agent market this summer at the risk of disrupting a good situation in Anaheim.
"I'm really happy it came together," Cogliano said in a phone interview. "Coming into this year, my goal was to play good enough to get an extension. There was never an idea I wanted to get into free agency and hit a home run."
Usually playing on a line with fellow veterans Saku Koivu and Daniel Winnik, Cogliano has provided speed and secondary scoring for the Pacific Division leaders during their 30-8-5 start. Their line also gets the checking assignment against most opponents' top scorers.
"It's pretty obvious I have a great situation here," said Cogliano, who has scored four goals in the Ducks' last five games. "I play on a line with two guys that complement me, two guys that are veteran guys, and if it wasn't for them, I don't know if I'd be in this situation."
The Ducks also know they can count on Cogliano: He has played in 501 straight games since the start of his NHL career with Edmonton in October 2007. Just five players in NHL history have played in 500 straight games to start their career, and Cogliano is the first to do it since Doug Jarvis, who played from 1975-88.
Cogliano has the NHL's third-longest active streak of consecutive games played behind St. Louis' Jay Bouwmeester (676) and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin (671).
The Ducks acquired Cogliano from the Oilers in July 2011 for a second-round draft pick, and he has acknowledged motivation from Edmonton's decision to give up a former first-round selection. Cogliano has 74 points in 173 career games with Anaheim after scoring on a breakaway in the Ducks' 5-2 win over the Oilers on Friday night.
Cogliano, who is making $2.67 million this season, appears to be a good value for Anaheim at $3 million per season over the next four years, particularly now that his hands have begun to match his speed. Always known as a fleet-footed forward who lacked a world-class finishing touch, Cogliano is on pace for a 25-goal season while providing his usual help with forechecking and two-way play.
"I think the number is fair," Cogliano said. "This season I think I've made great steps, and the number is where it needs to be in terms of market value, and I'm really happy it came together."
The Ducks' decisions on long-term contract extensions for their core players have worked out exceptionally well lately. Star forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have been outstanding in the first seasons of two eight-year extensions worth a combined $135 million, while defenceman Cam Fowler has matured into a U.S. Olympic team member in the first season of his five-year, $20 million deal.