Sharks sign Thornton, Marleau to 3-year deals
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11), of Slovenia, battles for the puck against San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) and Sharks left wing T.J. Galiardi (21) during the first period in Game 6 of their second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, May 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 24, 2014 12:49PM EST
The San Jose Sharks have signed franchise cornerstones Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau to three-year contract extensions.
Thornton receives US$20.25 million for an average of $6.75 million per season, his agent, brother John Thornton, confirmed. Marleau will get $20 million for an average of $6.66 million per season, according to ESPN.com.
"Patrick and Joe continue to perform at an elite level in the National Hockey League and, most importantly, they make the other players around them better," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "They both made it very clear that they wanted to stay in San Jose and we were able to agree on contracts that fit with our team building philosophy."
The move ensures the Sharks' core remains in tact for at least the next two seasons after this one. Centres Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, rookie Tomas Hertl, winger Brent Burns and defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic are all signed long-term.
Getting Thornton, San Jose's captain, and Marleau locked up was the next big job for general manager Doug Wilson, who reconstructed this team at last year's deadline.
Thornton leads the Sharks in points with 53 on six goals and 47 assists. Marleau, who will represent Canada at next month's Sochi Olympics, is third with 47 points on 21 goals and 26 assists.
The captain's deal had been done for some time but he waited until Marleau's was finished before signing it, according to John Thornton. CSN Bay Area first reported that Thornton waited for Marleau, who was behind in negotiations after his agent, Don Baizley, died last summer.
"He wants to win with Patty in San Jose," John Thornton said in a phone interview. "They're very close and their careers have followed kind of similar paths.
"And is it the same team without a 35-goal scorer? It wasn't just that he wants to win with Patty, he understands how much Patty brings to the team."