San Jose Sharks: The Importance of Signing Joe Thornton And Patrick Marleau


Dec 3, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton (19) celebrates his goal with forward Joe Pavelski (8) and forward Patrick Marleau (12) during the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the San Jose Sharks came to terms with both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau by re-signing them to three year deals. Thornton’s contract is worth $6.75 million AAV (average adjusted value) and Marleau’s is just below that at $6.66 million AAV. Once again it seems Doug Wilson has pulled off some great signings.

I say great signings because not only are the lengths pretty friendly but so are the prices when you look around the league. Granted, Thornton has been known to want nothing more than three-year deals, but either way the contracts help the Sharks in a few major ways. Also, had these two gone to free agency it would have been more costly if the San Jose Sharks wanted both of them back.

Since both contracts have now been signed it now allows management to use the estimated $11.7 million of remaining cap space for filling out the rest of the roster. That will hopefully include bringing back RFA’s Tommy Wingels, Alex Stalock, and Jason Demers as well as the final big free agent left in Dan Boyle.

That number could even get higher depending on what Doug Wilson and management decide to do with Martin Havlat and possibly Adam Burish as well via the compliance buyout. Havlat holds a $5 million cap-hit next season while Burish’s hit is $1.85 million over the next two years.

Boyle’s contract could be very reasonable as well considering he has struggled at times offensively. Of course part of that is due to the concussion and its lingering effects, but it’s pretty clear that this is not the same Dan Boyle from just a couple of years ago.

Depth-wise the signing of both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau keeps the core of this team intact for a few more years and will keep the San Jose Sharks a strong contender for the Stanley Cup as well. Having them on the team while still keeping Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture will continue to be a big plus for this team looking forward even when Marleau and Thornton start to regress (if that happens).

Don’t forget some of the younger talent in Tomas Hertl, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, and Matt Nieto who should all hopefully improve their games in the coming years.

Let’s also not overlook the fact that neither wanted to sign without the knowing the other guy would be in in San Jose over the next couple of years.  “If he wasn’t going to re-sign here, there’s probably a good chance I wouldn’t have re-signed here, as well,” Marleau said of Thornton. “It’s one of those things where we enjoy playing on the same team, and we want to win together.”

I think it speaks well about the team and organization as a whole when you have guys willing to stick together like these two. Not only that, the San Jose Sharks are able to get multiple top-tier players (Couture, Pavelski, Marleau, Thornton) who are willing to take a bit of a ‘hometown discount’ and did not feel the need to test the free agent market even though they could all easily have brought in more money.

Obviously they see something here, and Thornton acknowledged that saying “We both feel like we have a shot to win every year, and that’s the most important thing. We both really believe in this group of guys.”

And to finish it off, here’s Joe Thornton being Joe Thornton and thanking the fans for wanting to stay in San Jose.