The San Jose Sharks have come to contract terms with two of their most important players, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski, and also bucked the recent NHL trend of handing out long-term, front-end loaded contracts.
Marleau, who would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, has agreed to a four-year deal worth $6.9 million per year, while Pavelski, a restricted free agent, has also agreed to a four-year contract, one that will pay him $4 million per year.
''We are very pleased that Patty and Joe have committed to this organization now and in the future,'' General Manager Doug Wilson said in a release. ''They expressed a strong belief in the direction this franchise is heading but also understand the challenges to keeping a talented group like ours together.
''Both players had a tremendous regular season, excelled on the ice for their respective countries at the Winter Olympics and elevated their game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have solidified their place in the game among the League's top forwards and we are excited as an organization to have Joe and Patty back in San Jose to build on what we accomplished last season.''
Marleau, 30, recently completed his 12th NHL season, all of which have been played in San Jose. He ranks first on the all-time team's list in nearly every offensive category, including games played, goals, assists, points, power play goals, game-winning goals and shots.
Last season, Marleau set a career-high with 44 goals which tied for the second-most ever by a Sharks player in a single season (Nolan, 99-00). He finished fourth in the NHL in goals and 14th in the League in points.
Pavelski, 25, posted 51 points in 2009-10, including tying his career-high in goals while playing in only 67 games. He missed 15 games with a broken foot, suffered on Oct. 6 at Los Angeles. Finishing sixth on the team in scoring, his 25 goals ranked third on San Jose. Pavelski finished the regular season fourth in the NHL in faceoff percentage.
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pavelski led the team in goals and points as well as plus/minus, power-play goals and game-winning goals in 15 games. Overall, his 17 postseason points tied him for 12th in the NHL and his nine goals ranked tied-for-seventh.