The San Jose Sharks got a jump start on their offseason by signing restricted free agent Devin Setoguchi to a three-year contract extension. The three-year deal announced by the Sharks has been confirmed by Craig Custance and Matthew Taylor to be worth $9 million.
The reasonable $3 million cap hit keeps Setoguchi around after a productive fourth season in the NHL. The deal for Setoguchi is a healthy raise from the 1-year, $1.8 million contract he signed a season ago; he’ll be under contract until he’s 27 years old.
The former 8th overall pick racked up 22 goals and 41 points over the course of the regular season; including 7 goals and 10 points in 18 playoff games this year. In fact, the 2010-11 campaign was the third straight season Setoguchi netted 20+ goals—it was also the third year in San Jose when he was a regular on the team for the entire season. He has 84 career goals in 267 career games. In a press release, Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he only expects him Setoguchi to continue to improve:
“We feel Devin is an important part of our team and we look forward to him continuing to elevate his game to the level he is capable of.”
For the Sharks, the deal was a step in the right direction as they try to shape their team for next season. Setoguchi proved to be a clutch playoff performer with his seven goals—not to mention two overtime game-winners and a hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semi-finals. Signing him to an extension, the Sharks confirmed that Setoguchi is part of the Sharks future core along with guys like Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, and Ryane Clowe.
The next order of business is filling out the rest of their roster. GM Doug Wilson has already announced that the team will not be re-signing Scott Nichol or Jamal Mayers for next season. The team also has to make a decision on pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Ian White, who was brought over in a midseason deal from the Carolina Hurricanes.
While White would help solidify the blueline, Setoguchi is only the first step to shoring up the forward corps. Next, the organization will have to reach terms with Andrew Desjardins who is slated to be the 4th line center next season and possibly Ben Eager to provide grit up front.
The Sharks were undoubtedly helped by today’s news that the salary cap was increased to $64.3 million. Accordingly, San Jose was able to lock-up their most important pending restricted free agent. Now the team will be able to focus making the rest of the team better at the draft and when free agency opens on July 1st.