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Sharks sign Joe Pavelski to 5-year contract extension

  • In this May 5, 2013 file photo, San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) moves the puck against the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks signed center Joe Pavelski to a $30 million, five-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep him off the free-agent market next summer.

"It's always exciting when a franchise puts that responsibility on you a little bit," Pavelski said. "It's important to continue to play at a high level in that regard. It's a position I wanted to be in, and it's exciting to have this opportunity."

Pavelski is the second key player signed to an extension this offseason by general manager Doug Wilson. Center Logan Couture also signed a $30 million, five-year extension earlier this month, a year before he could become a free agent. The deals keep both players under contract through the 2018-19 season.

Pavelski, a seventh-round pick in 2003, has become a cornerstone of the franchise that has long been led by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

"He is one of our core players, the way he plays," general manager Doug Wilson. "To me it was just an important contract to get done on the heels of Logan's contract also. He fits for now and the future the way he plays the game."

He was tied for third on the team in points last season when he had 16 goals and 15 assists in 48 games. He is also a key part of both the power-play and penalty-kill units, is strong in the faceoff circle and has the versatility to play center or wing.

The 29-year-old has 150 goals and 186 assists in 479 career games with San Jose. He ranks 10th in his draft class in points per game (0.70) and is the only player in the top 15 to be selected after the second round.

"He's a hockey player," Wilson said. "We use him on the point on the power play, we use him on the first line, we use him on key faceoffs, blocking shots. He won a national championship in college for a reason. He's a winner. He's a great role model for many of our other players who are home-grown. The way he plays the game, it's not about stats, even though his stats are very impressive. It's about what you can do to make a difference to win a game.

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