Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sharks re-sign Pavelski, Boucher, Roenick

The Sharks announced earlier today the re-signing of restricted free agent Joe Pavelski and unrestricted free agents Brian Boucher and Jeremy Roenick. Sharkspage is all over this with transcripts of the conference calls that occurred to announce the signings. Roenick's return has been common knowledge since the team alluded to it at the State of the Sharks meeting last month, but the retaining of another relative greybeard, Boucher, is a breath of fresh air in that it allows Thomas Greiss more time to develop in Worcester which, judging by a somewhat disastrous two-game look-see last season, he could really use.

According to TSN, Pavelski's contract totals $3.275 million over two years, about market value for a player who has been a delightful surprise since being selected 205th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Little Joe has evolved from something of a shootout god into a bonafide second-line center for the Sharks and will likely be slotted in that role come training camp, probably between Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi. Reports have indicated both Boucher and Roenick have been inked to one-year deals, the former to a $650k contract and the latter to a deal worth $1.1 million. In addition to being an allegedly positive contributor in the locker room, Boucher showed flashes of brilliance in the few games he started for the Sharks after being acquired at the trade deadline. In any case, he is a far more trustworthy candidate to spell Nabokov than the aforementioned Greiss and Doug Wilson has indicated that the former Flyer, Blackhawk and Blue Jacket will start upwards of 10-15 games next season.

Not enough can be written about Roenick's positive impact on the team since being saved from the clutches of retirement by Doug Wilson a year ago. JR remains steadfast in his pursuit of the Cup and will be returning for his second go-around in teal. Good news for Sharks fans, bad news for those waiting for the oft-outspoken center to ascend the broadcast booth.

In terms of the team's remaining free agents, Wilson is on record stating qualifying offers have been tendered to RFAs Ryane Clowe, Christian Ehrhoff and Marcel Goc. Talks between Wilson and impending UFA Jody Shelley are reportedly going well, while all indications are that Tomas Plihal will not be retained and only one of Curtis Brown and Patrick Rissmiller (both UFAs July 1st) is engaged in serious contract discussions with San Jose. Meanwhile, on the Brian Campbell front, Wilson withheld comment regarding the nature of contract discussions between the Sharks and Campbell's agents, only stating that they were ongoing. David Pollak suggests New York Rangers UFA blueliner Michal Rozsival as a viable replacement should Campbell choose to bolt via free agency, noting that Rozsival has a connection to newly hired Sharks coach Todd McLellan, with Rozsival having played for McLellan while with the WHL's Swift Current Broncos. Speaking of McLellan, the Globe and Mail's Tim Wharnsby reports that former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Trent Yawney is likely to flank the Sharks' bench boss as an assistant coach, Rob Zettler and Tim Hunter having joined Ron Wilson in Toronto.

Finally, in other NHL news, the Tampa Bay Lightning are a joke.

No comments: