Burns, Vlasic have yet to put Sharks shorthanded

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Burns, Vlasic have yet to put Sharks shorthanded

SAN JOSE Its one of the more remarkable statistics this season, and the superstitious Brent Burns doesnt want to talk about it. Not one bit.

Dont say anything. Nothing about it. Dont want to hear it, he said, even before presented with the question.

What were referring to is the fact that Burns doesnt have a minor penalty this season. In fact, he hasnt gotten the chance to warm the penalty box seat at all, after finishing last season tied for 11th in the league with 34 minors and 98 penalty minutes total.

So, well just have to ask his partner, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, about it.

Ill knock on wood for him, said Vlasic, who was unaware that Burns hasnt been penalized yet. That is remarkable, that he throws his weight around and doesnt get a high-stick, or elbowing or something.

What may be even more impressive is that the pair of Burns and Vlasic, which has spent virtually the entire season together, hasnt put the team shorthanded even once. Vlasic has just one minor penalty, and it came late in the third period in Detroit on Oct. 28, when he and Jiri Hudler took coincidental minors in a 4-2 Sharks win.

To put that in perspective, the tandem of Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray has 18 combined minors, with team-leading 11 of them from Boyle (including three in Wednesdays 1-0 win over Chicago).

Being in the right position, skating and having active sticks are the biggest reasons that Burns and Vlasic have escaped punishment from the referees.

You have to use your feet. Youve got to skate. I think were doing that, said Vlasic. Were in good positions, and you want to be aggressive and hit everything that moves, but in the D-zone when you have good positioning and good sticks and youre in the right places you dont need to take as many penalties. You dont need to hook or hold.

Todd McLellan said: They both have very good mobility and their stamina is good. A lot of penalties are taken later in shifts when you start to get running around or you get tired, and begin to reach.

As a team, the Sharks have been shorthanded just 63 times the second fewest total in the NHL. Burns and Vlasic are probably the biggest reasons for that.

For the amount of minutes that they play, yeah, it surprises me a little bit, said McLellan. But, well take it, and were happy with that.

And, those two dont shy away from the physical play. Theyre involved in it. Theyre doing something right.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

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AP

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

The Sharks have signed Czech defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract.

The two-way deal, originally reported by Radio Praha in the Czech Republic, is expected to be announced by the Sharks later this week, according to a source. Simek just finished competing for his country in the 2017 IIHF World Championships, skating in all eight games for the Czech Republic while posting one goal, one assist, 11 shots and a minus-two rating.

Simek, 24, has spent the last five seasons in the Czech League. In 42 games for Liberec in 2016-17, he posted 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHF website.

The New York Rangers were also interested in Simek, according to the report.

Simek will likely begin next season with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks have signed a number of free agents out of Europe in recent seasons, including Joonas Donskoi in 2015 and Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed last May.