Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sharks, Bruins and Coyotes Lock up Key Components

The San Jose Sharks took care of some much needed business today, locking up forward Patrick Marleau and playoff hero Joe Pavelski to long term deals.

The 6' 2" and 220 lbs Marleau has spent his whole career with the Sharks and recently helped Team Canada claim the gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Last season the 30-year-old was very successful, playing in all 82 games and recording 44 goals to accompany 39 assists, for an impressive total of 83 points. His 83 points marks his best total since the 2005-06 season, and his 44 goals were a career high in that respect. The 3-time NHL All-Star and franchise points leader lead his team to the Conference Finals this past season. His deal will see him earn $6.9 million per year for the next 4 seasons. He was set to become a free agent on July 1st.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Pavelski also signed a 4-year deal, his sees him make $4 million per season. Pavelski had another solid season as a member of the Sharks, he netted 25 goals and added 26 assists for 51 points in just 67 games. "Little Joe", as he may be called, was anything but "little" in the playoffs, where he managed 9 goals and 17 points in just 15 games. He was a crucial piece to San Jose in the playoffs, and also to Team U.S.A.'s silver medal effort in Vancouver. The 5' 11" and 194 lbs Pavelski has also spent his entire career as a member of the Sharks.

Also inking up key players recently were the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes.

The Bruins reached a deal with playoff workhorse Johnny Boychuk for 2 more seasons, the contract totals $3.75 million. The 26-year-old defenseman had a great season with the Bruins and an even better playoffs. He was key to the Bruins upsetting 3rd seed Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs. Boychuk scored a total of 5 goals and 15 points in just 51 regular season games and added 6 more points in a mere 13 playoff contests. However, the 6' 2" and 225 lbs Boychuk was more noted for his defensive attributes and hard hitting style. He also logged a lot of minutes alongside Captain Zdeno Chara during the playoffs.

The Coyotes were the last to get in on the spending, resigning Polish forward Wojtek Wolski. Wolski was late season acquisition by the Coyotes, who acquired the 24-year-old from the Avalanche. His 2009-10 season totals included 23 goals and 42 assists for 65 points in 80 games, split between the two clubs. The 6' 3" and 210 lbs Wolski will $7.6 million over the next 2 seasons.

As both the Entry Draft and NHL Free Agency dates near, there will certainly be more teams looking to lock up players for next season. Teams will also be looking to free up cap space in the coming days, likely via trades. Stay tuned and enjoy the Draft!


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