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SAN JOSE - The Sharks have signed goaltender Alex Stalock and forward Mike Brown each to two-year contract extension, general manager Doug Wilson announced on Tuesday. Both players were pending unrestricted free agents.
Stalock will earn $1.5 million next season and $1.7 million in 2015-16 for a salary cap hit of $1.6 million. Brown will earn $1.15 million next season and $1.25 million in 2015-16 for a salary cap hit of $1.2 million.
Stalock is expected to compete for the number one spot with Antti Niemi in training camp, assuming Niemi returns for the final year of his contract. Wilson and the Sharks’ coaching staff have said multiple times that they would like the team’s younger players to take a bigger role in the team moving forward, and that may include the 26-year-old Minnesota native.
In 24 games in 2013-14, his first full NHL season, Stalock was 12-5-2 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. In three playoff games against Los Angeles, he was 0-1 with a 2.05 GAA and .929 SP. His only start came in Game 6, a 4-1 Sharks loss.
Stalock set a new franchise record with a shutout streak of 178 minutes and 55 seconds during a stretch in January, including back-to-back shutouts against Florida and Winnipeg.
“I’m excited to get it done," Stalock told CSNBayArea.com. "I love it there and I love the group, and I’m looking forward to taking another step.”
The Sharks acquired Brown, who turns 29 on June 24, last October from Edmonton for a fourth round pick in the upcoming 2014 draft. He skated in 48 games with San Jose, finishing with two goals and three assists for five points and a -10 rating. His 75 penalty minutes, including eight fighting majors, were second on the team. He added one goal and one assist for two points and 26 penalty minutes in six playoff games against the Kings.
“Mike is very happy to be returning to the Sharks,” said his agent, Neil Abbott, in an email to CSNBayArea.com.
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Brown’s return leaves fellow fourth line forward Adam Burish in a precarious situation, and may even make him a candidate for a compliance buyout. Burish, who has struggled to remain healthy and has had little impact even when he is in the lineup, has two years remaining on his deal for $1.85 million annually. He signed a four-year contract with the Sharks in the summer of 2012.
Wilson, who may be forced to use one of his two compliance buyouts on Marty Havlat, was asked if he might utilize that option on any other players.
“My job is not to expose my hand when I’m dealing with 29 other GMs,” said Wilson.
Wilson reasserted that Havlat would not be back, and it's possible he's still trying to trade the ineffective 33-year-old winger.
The NHL’s compliance buyout window opened on Monday and runs through June 30.