Talks are underway between the Sharks and pending unrestricted free agent Alex Stalock, the goaltender’s agent confirmed via text message to CSNBayArea.com.
The Sharks and Stalock would both prefer to get a deal done before the NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia on June 27-28, according to Stalock’s camp. The 26-year-old, who turns 27 in late July, would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Stalock, who just completed a successful first full season in the NHL, is expected to battle for the number one spot with Antti Niemi in training camp, assuming Niemi returns for the final year of his contract. General manager Doug Wilson would like the team’s younger players to have a bigger stake moving forward, and that could very well include the St. Paul, Minnesota native Stalock.
Stalock did not play in enough games this season to qualify as a restricted free agent, so he should have a bit more leverage in negotiations. Still, after the season ended, he admitted to having a sense of loyalty towards the organization for sticking by him during a career-threatening nerve injury in 2011 that kept him out of action for nearly a full calendar year.
“I really like it here. It’s the only organization I’ve been with, and they’ve been great to me since day one, and everything I’ve been through, it’s been handled great,” Stalock said on May 2. “I can only say good stuff.”
In 24 games in 2013-14, 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 against the Kings, a 4-1 Sharks loss.
Stalock set a franchise record shutout streak of 178 minutes and 55 seconds during a stretch in January, including back-to-back shutouts against Florida and Winnipeg.