Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sharks Sign Marc-Eduoard Vlasic to Extension

preparing for a face-off in the Sharks zone


Photo courtesy of "timopfahl's photostream" on Flickr.com

According to sjsharks.nhl.com, the San Jose Sharks have signed defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a four-year contract extension. Combined with the one year left on his original contract, Vlasic is now locked up for five seasons.

The new deal is reported to be for an average around $3 million per year. According to Hockey Buzz, he is slated to make $1.1 million this season, but in this morning's San Jose Mercury News, his salary is $735,000. If the Mercury News is correct, his should more than make up the $225,000+ Hockey Buzz shows the Sharks over the cap.

“Marc-Edouard is one of the top young defenceman in the game and we are excited to have him in the fold for the next several years,” said general manger Doug Wilson. “He has a tremendous future with this franchise and we look forward to watching his continued development.”

Vlasic played in all 82 games for the Sharks in 2007-8. While he scored just 14 points (two goals) and was -12, he ranked third on the team in blocked shots (85) and average ice time (21:36).

In his rookie year in 2006-7, he played in 81 games and led all league rookies in ice time (22:11, more than 1.5 minutes over the closest competitor. He scored 26 points (three goals), and was +13 thanks in large part to 132 blocked shots (second on the team and second among all NHL rookies). In 24 career playoff games he has two assists and is +3.

“He can play in all situations and we think he’ll only get better with the players we’ve brought in this summer,” said Wilson. “His defense is as good and any young player in the game and he will evolve a lot more offensively as he goes forward.”

Vlasic said, “I liked it here my first two years and wanted to settle in. I’ve got the next five years and am not worried where I’m going. I like the team and the area. Playing here is nice and hopefully we’ll get to win the Cup....They brought in guys (Dan Boyle, Rob Blake and Brad Lukowich) who can help me and help the team,” said Vlasic.

Vlasic, who became the youngest Sharks defenceman to make the team out of training camp since Brad Stuart in 1999-00, is a 6'1", 195-pound native of Montreal, Quebec originally selected by San Jose in the second round (35th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. That draft pick was acquired in the trade that sent Miikka Kiprusoff to the Calgary Flames.

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