Sharks sign Joe Pavelski to 5-year extension

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By JOSH DUBOW, Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — 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.

He 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.

"Joe has been an important part of our success over the last several years and we are excited to have him with our club for the next six seasons," Wilson said.

Pavelski, a seventh-round pick in 2003, has become a cornerstone of the franchise. 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 is third among all American-born players with 158 points over the past three seasons and has been invited to attend the United States' national team orientation camp next month in preparation for the 2014 Olympics. Pavelski won the silver medal with the Americans in Vancouver in 2010.

Pavelski has been a strong performer in the postseason throughout his career, with four goals and eight assists for a team-high 12 points in 11 playoff games last year. He has 24 goals and 26 assists in 74 career playoff games.

Locking up Couture and Pavelski long term was a key goal this offseason for the Sharks. They still have a few notable potential older free agents next summer in captain Joe Thornton, franchise all-time leading goal scorer Patrick Marleau and star defenseman Dan Boyle.

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