Tuesday San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced the signing of center Joe Pavelski to a 5-year $30M contract extension. With a year left on his current contract, the extension ensures Pavelski will remain a Shark for six more seasons.
Pavelski’s extension was the second five-year commitment for San Jose during off-season after locking up Logan Couture in June. The combination of contracts keeps both key point producers in teal and black until 2019.
Though the Sharks have been playoff contenders for the past 7 years, they have yet to get to a Stanley Cup final. In Pavelski’s career with the Sharks, he has played in all 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games, leading the team in points (12) and assists (8 – tied) while ranking third in goals (4) and second in both power-play goals (3) and shots (36). Pavelski continued his reputation as a strong point producer and scored over 50 points in last full 2 seasons and added 31 in the strike-shortened 48-game 2012-2013 season.
"It's always exciting when a franchise puts that responsibility on you,” Pavelski said via conference call on Tuesday. “It’s important to continue to play at a high level in that regard. It’s a position I wanted to be in, and it’s exciting to have this opportunity.”
Pavelski has also enjoyed international success on the ice. In July, the Plover, Wisconsin native was invited to attend US Olympic Hockey training camp in preparation for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This will not be Pavelski’s first time representing the red, white and blue. He also represented Team USA in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and contributed to the United States’ silver medal finish.
There has been concern from some hockey pundits that signing a center forward well into his thirties may be a risky–if not a downright crazy–move. But Sharks have been successful with veteran players Joe Thornton (34), Patrick Marleau (33) and defenseman Dan Boyle(37), all who have expiring contracts in 2014. While Couture and Pavelski are the current young guns, they will have to lead the team once the oldsters have moved on to the retirement rink. Both players have shown their maturity and leadership on the ice and will have no problems taking the reins from the veterans over the next few seasons.
Do you think Pavelski’s signing was a good move? Or are the Sharks biting off more than they can chew with two big contracts? Sound off in the comments.
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