SAN JOSE – Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will be eligible to sign a contract extension with the Sharks after July 1, when he officially enters the final year of his current five-year, $21.25 million deal.
He would like to get something done, thereby staying in the Bay Area.
The 29-year-old recently told Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman that he would prefer to play "his whole career in San Jose," and reiterated that point on Tuesday morning at the team's practice facility.
"If it works out, that would be great. It's a priority," Vlasic said.
What is about the Sharks and San Jose that would allow Vlasic, who was drafted by the Sharks in the second round in 2005, to say something like that?
"I like the team, I like the area. Competitive every year. At the end of my contract next year I'll have been here for 12 years, so I guess I do like it here if I'm here for 12 years," he said.
Vlasic undoubtedly took notice of the Sharks' recent contract extension with Brent Burns, who is two years older than Vlasic but signed an eight-year, $64 million deal on Nov. 22 to remain in San Jose through the 2024-25 season.
A strong case can be made that Vlasic, who still routinely skates against the opposition's best players and has earned the reputation as one of the league's best shutdown defenders, has been just as valuable to the Sharks' recent success as Burns.
Vlasic, who has been a bargain player with a $4.25 million salary cap hit, was asked if he could potentially see a Burns-like deal for himself.
"Hopefully. Every individual player's contract is different from one guy to another," he said. "So, hopefully I can…I'd like to sign here long term, yeah."
In 800 career games, all with the Sharks, Vlasic has 247 points (51g, 196a) and a plus-127 rating in 11 seasons. He won an Olympic gold medal as part of Team Canada's blue line in 2014, and was also on Canada's triumphant World Cup team last September.