SAN JOSE - The Sharks signed defenseman Matt Irwin to a two-year contract extension, the team announced on Wednesday.
Irwin will receive $900,000 in the first year of the deal in 2013-14, and $1.1 million in 2014-15, his agent told CSNCalifornia.com.
“We’re very excited to have Matt Irwin for the next two years. We think he has a bright future,” Doug Wilson told CSNCalifornia.com.
“It’s exciting. I’m excited to stay here and continue winning with this team," Irwin said.
Irwin, 25, was due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
“I wanted to be a Shark," he said. "They did a great job over the years developing me as a player. It started in Worcester there for two and a half years. I felt like I wanted to stay here, and owed it to them with their loyalty and bringing me up and giving me an opportunity, so I’m excited to be a Shark.”
The deal came together quickly.
“I honestly didn’t pay too much attention to it," Irwin said. "I was still concerned about playing well and establishing myself that I could play at this level, and let that discussion happen between my agent and Doug. I’m grateful and happy to be here.”
Irwin started the season on the opening night roster, as the injuries to Brent Burns and Jason Demers left the team thin on the blue line. He was reassigned in early February, but returned on Feb. 28 and has been with the club ever since.
Now, he's here to stay for at least two more years.
"He’s stepped in right from Day 1 in training camp," Todd McLellan said. "We forget how rushed it was, how little time we had and how little time he had to get accustomed to the NHL pace. He did a tremendous job and a result he’s earned himself an extension which is deserved.”
In 26 games, Irwin has five goals and four assists for nine points and four penalty minutes. The six-foot-two-inch British Columbia native was originally signed by the Sharks as a free agent on March 23, 2010.