Bay Area hockey fans rejoiced Tuesday when news broke that the San Jose Sharks had signed Joe Pavelski to a five-year contract extension worth $30 million including a no-trade clause.
The move will keep the center in a teal sweater for another six seasons.
The contract news for Pavelski, as well as Logan Couture— who signed a very similar 5-year contract extension in early July—has hockey faithful and the media alike excited about the future.
Having these two players in particular locked in at San Jose is a stepping stone for when the likes of Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle, and captain Joe Thornton are no longer in the building.
Securing Pavelski beyond the end of his current contract, which ends after this up-coming season, also benefits the team for their 2013-2014 campaign in that it takes the focus off contract talks and puts it back where it’s supposed to be: on playing hockey.
Contract and trade talks ran rampant during the shortened 2013 season, taking the focus off of the Sharks’ seven game skid and zoning in on which players might have been on the move.
And while San Jose’s string of losses shouldn’t solely be put on Ryane Clowe or Douglass Murray, it certainly took away from the day-to-day focus of winning hockey games.
Sure, the Sharks rebounded and made a playoff run. But it certainly makes things easier when outside distractions aren’t the main focus.
The 29-year-old Plover, Wisconsin native ended the truncated 2013 season tied for third with 31 points scored (16 goals, 15 assists.) He was a very big part of the Sharks playoff run, leading the team with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists.)
Think about how much Pavelski be able to capitalize on that level of play knowing that he won’t be worried about what team he’ll be on come next July.
Pavelski expressed his excitement about the extension via phone interview on Comcast SportsNet , saying that there are:
“… a lot of key pieces to the team that are going to be around, it gives myself and the organization a chance to win moving forward.”
It would be unrealistic to say that contracts and trades will never be discussed during the regular season. But knowing that some of the Sharks’ key players are locked in, and devoted to helping their current team victorious, won’t hurt either.