Rumors have been swirling for months that the San Jose Sharks, eager to hand the team over to its next generation, will move away from long time players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau as their contracts expire this offseason. One Sharks insider however, Kevin Kurz, speculates that at least one Sharks veteran is a long-term fixture in the team’s plans.
Kurz, an NBC Sports insider, reported earlier today that the team has had ongoing discussions with defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic regarding a new contract. Vlasic, of course, has been a staple on the team’s back end for 10 seasons and is one of the most highly regarded defensive defensemen in the NHL.
The 30 year-old’s five year, $21 million dollar contract expires on July 1st and he’ll be in line for a considerable raise from the $4.25 million he earned annually. He likely won’t receive an offer like Brent Burns’ $8 million salary, but he won’t be far off. He’s a valuable part of the Sharks defense and the team knows it. With long-time Sharks Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton also coming off the books this offseason, general manager Doug Wilson will have some expensive decisions to make about his team moving forward.