The last we heard from Marc-Edouard Vlasic he was telling reporters he wanted to spend the rest of his career in San Jose. Now that might be coming close to a reality, as Kevin Kurz of NBC reports that both sides are after a long-term deal and it could be signed as soon as early July. Vlasic has one year remaining on his contract, and wouldn’t technically be allowed to sign an extension until July 1st, but the two sides can obviously agree to terms before then.
Now 30, Vlasic has been an absolute rock for the Sharks for more than a decade, starting as a 19-year old in 2006. Immediately logging over 22 minutes a night, his ice time has rarely dropped below that over the years as he’s put up against top competition night after night. The former second-round pick has won a Memorial Cup, Olympic gold medal, and the recent World Cup with Team Canada, but hasn’t been able to hoist the elusive Stanley Cup thus far. His role on the Sharks is extremely valuable, and like Brent Burns in November should sign a huge extension to stay there well into his thirties.
If for some reason an extension wasn’t reached, Vlasic would likely be the most sought-after defenseman on the market next summer. Up against the likes of Mike Green and John Carlson (if they too didn’t sign extensions), potential suitors would be numerous. That doesn’t appear to be the case though, and it’s more likely that teams will continue to be frustrated in trying to find a top pairing defenseman in free agency.
The Sharks, with large amounts of money coming off the books this summer when Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau hit the open market, have even more space starting next season. While an extention for Martin Jones should also be expected, and a new deal for then-RFA Tomas Hertl, San Jose would have more than enough room to fit in a $6-7MM (AAV) deal for Vlasic.