Signing goaltender Martin Jones and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a contract extension before they can become unrestricted free agents is a priority for the San Jose Sharks, general manager Doug Wilson told NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday.
"Certainly Martin Jones is everything we expected him to be and he's crucial," Wilson said. "Marc-Edouard Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the League. ... Both of them are extremely important to get under contract and we can start those discussions in the next little while."
The Sharks can offer each player a contract extension starting July 1. Jones, 27, would play next season in the final year of a three-year contract worth $3 million annually, according to Cap Friendly; Vlasic, 30, would be in the final season of a five-year contract with an NHL salary-cap charge of $4.25 million.
"I love it here. The guys are great," Jones said Monday. "It's a lot of fun coming to the rink every day. City has been great. The fans are awesome and we have a great team. I'm excited."
Jones was 35-23-6 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 65 games in his second full season as the Sharks' starting goalie. Vlasic had 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) and was plus-4 in 75 games in his 11th season with the Sharks.
"When it happens it will happen," Vlasic said of a new contract. "It doesn't matter if it's July 1 or during the season."
Forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau each can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. They each said Monday they would like to stay.
"[Marleau and Thornton] have been cornerstones of this franchise for a long time, not only as players but as people," Wilson said. "There's a lot of variables that go into that decision, and the first one is me sitting down and talking with both of them. We haven't had a chance to do that so we'll get there."
The Sharks were eliminated from the Western Conference First Round in six games by the Edmonton Oilers after losing in the Stanley Cup Final last year to the Pittsburgh Penguins.