Sharks sign Vlasic, Jones to blockbuster contracts

San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goalie Martin Jones were both one year away from unrestricted free agency. The Sharks wanted to make sure they never reached that status, so they threw a bunch of money at them on July 1 and they caught it.

Vlasic, 30, was inked to an eight-year, $56-million contract for a $7 million cap hit starting in 2018-19. He had a $4.25 million cap hit on his previous deal. That new deal puts him in line with players like Dion Phaneuf ($7 million) and Drew Doughty ($7 million) around the top 10 cap hits among D-men for 2017-18.

He’s an elite shutdown defenseman, and a player who drives possession. As much as Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns was the star on the blueline, it’s Vlasic’s ability to solidify a second pairing is essential to their success. He’s been there since 2006 and gets you between 25-35 points per season, too.

So it’s good that they went long term with Vlasic, as letting him go to market would have put San Jose in a bit of a … bind. Even if he’ll be 39 at the end of the deal. But Doug Wilson, we imagine, really doesn’t care that happens in 2025.

Jones, meanwhile, gets a six-year deal with a $5.75 million cap hit. Personally, I hate term on goalie contracts for anyone but the best of the best, but GM Doug Wilson figures why create a problem you don’t need to create. Jones is 27 and has a .915 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average in 130 games with the Sharks.

“We’re very happy we could get this extension done with Martin and feel that he is just beginning to hit his peak in terms of growth and prime playing seasons,” said Wilson. “He has proven that he is more than capable of excelling in high-pressure situations and big games, and we feel he has become one of the top goaltenders in the League. He is a calming influence in net for our team and we’re excited to have him in net for us for the foreseeable future.”

Jones gets a deal that’s a click behind the $6 million hits for Corey Crawford and Cory Schneider in the top 10 among goalies. He’s also cheaper than Jonathan Quick, which no doubt pleases the good people of San Jose.

The Sharks get stability, and hopefully Jones rewards that confidence.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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