Sharks general manager Doug Wilson’s top offseason priority of signing defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goalie Martin Jones to long-term contract extensions has seemingly gotten off on the right foot.
Vlasic’s agent, Bob Sauve, told NBC Sports California on Thursday that he has spoken to Wilson and talks are “going well” so far. He confirmed that both the Sharks and Vlasic would like a long-term extension, and that Vlasic enjoys playing in San Jose.
The two sides will likely chat again soon, according to Sauve, and he’s hopeful that a deal will be in place by July 1.
The Sharks cannot officially extend either Jones or Vlasic, both pending unrestricted free agents in 2018, until July 1, per the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Vlasic said in March that he would like to remain in San Jose past the 2017-18 season, the final year of a five-year, $21.25 million deal ($4.25 per year).
“I like the team, I like the area,” Vlasic said on March 14. “Competitive every year. … I’d like to sign here long-term, yeah.”
On Wednesday, TSN’s Pierre Lebrun reported that talks between the Sharks and Jones’ camp were “very positive,” and “all signs point to early July extension.”
Jones also expressed his commitment to the organization on April 24, shortly after the Sharks lost to the Oilers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. When asked if he could see himself with the Sharks long-term, Jones said: “Oh, absolutely. I love it here. The guys are great. It’s a lot of fun coming to the rink every day. City has been great. The fans are awesome, and we have a great team. I’m excited.”
The goalie will be playing out the final year of a three-year, $9 million contract next season.
Wilson made it clear on clean-out day how important it was to get Vlasic and Jones locked up.
“Certainly Martin Jones is everything we expected him to be, and he’s crucial,” Wilson said on April 24. “Marc-Edouard Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league. … Marc-Edouard is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world. Both of them are extremely important to get under contract, and we can start those discussions in the next little while.”