General manager, Doug Wilson, expressed his confidence in the San Jose Sharks’ current core to win the cup, yesterday as he locked three-year deals with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. According to ESPN.com, Marleau will be earning $6.66 million per year and Thornton will get a little bit more, at $6.75 million. Surely, if both players had tested the free agent market this summer, they would surpass those numbers by a long shot.
Doug Wilson has engrained a very unselfish culture into his team’s culture. Marleau and Thornton both took significant pay cuts in order to re-sign with San Jose. Both those players were scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this offseason and they probably could have earned a lot more money and years by signing through free agency. Their unselfishness certainly shows on the hockey rink, Thornton leads the NHL in assists and Marleau has the second most assists in franchise history. According to Wilson, both players refused to re-sign unless the other did as well.
Marleau has spent his entire career with the Sharks. After, being drafted second in the 1997 entry draft he hasn’t left San Jose. This season, Marleau ranks second on the Sharks in goals with 21.
Thornton came over from the Boston Bruins after being drafted 1st overall in the same draft as Marleau. Oh yeah, he is also the captain of the Sharks and leads the league in assists.
The Sharks have now made sure that they will have a veteran presence in the locker room, which is always important to make a strong Stanley Cup run. There can’t be a much better group than this current superstar core to place confidence in to bring the Cup to San Jose. However, one can’t help but think about the Sharks curse in the playoffs. They have the second longest current playoff berth streak, but they have never passed the Western Conference Finals. Hopefully, with brand new contracts, Thornton and Marleau will be able to lead the team to a franchise first.
The future core for the San Jose Sharks has already been set in stone as they only have three players that are signed past the 2016-17 season. Those players are Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, which is obviously not a bad core to build around in the future. The Sharks will only get better as these players approach their primes and step into leadership positions on the team.
Doug Wilson made a great move here by not only re-signing the two superstar forwards to long-term contracts but also doing it in a cost-efficient manner. The Sharks will have a ton of cap-space this offseason and will hopefully re-sign Dan Boyle or explore the free-agency market with their excess dollars.