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SAN JOSE — Joe Pavelski will be playing in the NHL next season. Whether he’s back with the Sharks is another matter.
“Am I concerned? I don’t know. I know I’m going to be playing hockey next year. Hopefully it’s going to be here,” Pavelski said Thursday. “We love it here. I think something will happen, who really knows, but coming off a lot of emotions coming through the playoffs and that round, we’ll sit down and take a look at what will happen here. We’re going to be alright, I think, regardless.”
Pavelski is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 as he finishes the five-year, $30 million contract he signed in July 2013. He led the Sharks with 38 goals this past year, and just completed his fourth season as the team’s captain.
But he’ll also turn 35 in July, and if Patrick Marleau — Mr. Shark — can sign with another team via free agency, just about any player who has worn nothing but teal throughout his NHL career can, or so it seems.
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Whether to reach an agreement with Pavelski on dollar — and particularly term — figures to be one of Sharks general manager Doug Wilson’s biggest decisions this offseason, and there are a few.
Pavelski is one of seven San Jose players that cheap nhl jerseys china
can enter unrestricted free agency this summer, and the Sharks already have a little over $58 million tied up in 15 contracts for next season.
“It’s the nature of the business of a cap system,” Wilson said. “When you want to have good hockey teams you have good players who have matriculated up and are going to get paid well, that’s the decisions you have to make. We’ll get to those things soon enough.
“I guess it’s a good problem and a bad problem. Good is you have good players who are going to get compensated well. You want players to want to be here. That mode will start in the next few days.”
Pavelski dealt with myriad injuries over the past two months.
The knee injury that forced him to miss seven games toward the end of the regular was re-aggravated after he took a hit from Alex Pietrangelo in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final of the St. Louis Blues. He, Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson all had to miss Game 6, which the Blues won 5-1 to capture the series four-games-to-two and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Pavelski finished with four goals and five assists in 13 playoff games, and had one goal and two assists in five games against St. Louis.
“It never fully healed up, but it was good enough to go for awhile,” Pavelski said of the injury, which will not require surgery. “Just got hit in a way that kind of lit it up again.”