Sharks

Sharks sign Vlasic, Jones to long-term extensions

Sharks sign Vlasic, Jones to long-term extensions

Doug Wilson’s top offseason priority is done.
 
The Sharks have signed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to an eight-year contract extension, and goalie Martin Jones to a six-year extension. Vlasic’s deal with worth $56 million ($7 million per season), while Jones’ is worth $34.5 million ($5.75 per season).

Vlasic will earn $7.25 million for each of the first six years of the deal, $7 million in 2024-25, and $5.5 million in 2025-26. Jones will earn $6.75 million for the first two seasons, $6 million in 2020-21, $5.5 in 2021-22, $5 million in 2022-23, and $4.5 million in the final year. Both contracts include modified no-trade clauses.
 
Both players, who will enter the last season of their current deals in 2017-18 and would have been unrestricted free agents next summer, made it known after the season that they preferred to remain in San Jose long term.
 
Vlasic, 30, has played his entire career in San Jose and has developed into one of the league’s premier shutdown defensemen. He has 254 points (53g, 201a) and a plus-129 rating in 812 career games with San Jose over 11 seasons, and was a part of Canada’s gold medal-winning Olympic team in 2014.
 
"We're thrilled we could get this extension done early and ensure one of the League's top defensemen will remain in San Jose for the long term," Wilson said in a statement. "Both Marc-Edouard and Hasso Plattner stepped forward and committed to get this deal done now, and this helps solidify our blue line for years to come. Marc-Edouard has been an integral part of this team, both on and off the ice, and we are excited to have him in San Jose for at least the next eight years."
 
Jones, 27, has established himself as one of the NHL’s better starting goaltenders in his two seasons in San Jose. He was acquired from Boston for a first round pick and a prospect on June 30, 2015.
 
A risk for the Sharks at the time due of the deal to his inexperience as a starter, the move has paid off for both team and Jones, who is 76-42-10 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in his two seasons in San Jose.
 
"We're very happy we could get this extension done with Martin and feel that he is just beginning to hit his peak in terms of growth and prime playing seasons," Wilson said. "He has proven that he is more than capable of excelling in high-pressure situations and big games, and we feel he has become one of the top goaltenders in the League. He is a calming influence in net for our team and we're excited to have him in net for us for the foreseeable future.”

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

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AP

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

SAN JOSE — There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.

For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.

"I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange," said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. "It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto."

Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.

Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.

Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.

"Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need."

The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.

Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.

"When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them."

While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.

He scored just seven goals — his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 — and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.

Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.

"They feel real strong," he said of his legs. "I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much."

Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

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Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

The boys were back together in San Jose on Thursday for Sharks Media Day, with plenty of smiles and moments of levity. Check out the highlights...

Hey Jumbo, you dropped something. 👖🤷‍♂️

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Martin Jones is pretty good at photobombs 📸💣

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🤳 Media Day #SJSharks

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New season. New commercials. 🕉🚌📺 #ComingSoon #SharksForLife

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