Chris Tierney


Sharks say getting Jones, Vlasic signed before camp ‘a priority’

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Doug Wilson has a busy summer ahead.

Decisions need to be made on veteran leaders Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, both pending UFAs. Those figure to be crucial negotiations but, to hear the Sharks GM explain it, there are equally vital deals to be reached with goalie Martin Jones, and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

“Both of them are extremely important to get under contract,” Wilson said yesterday, per NBC Sports California. “We can start those discussions in the next little while.”

Both Jones and Vlasic have one year remaining on their current deals, and are eligible to sign extensions on July 1. Wilson said it’s a “priority” to get them done before September’s training camp.

Jones, 27, is heading into the last of a three-year, $9 million deal with a $3M average annual cap hit. It’s safe to assume he’s in for a lengthy extension with a significant raise, given how good he’s been since joining the Sharks. He backstopped them to the Cup Final last season and has been one of the league’s busiest workhorses, starting 65 games in each of the last two years.

Vlasic, 30, has spent his entire 10-year career in San Jose. He’s developed a reputation as one of the league’s better defensive defensemen, strengthened by his role on Canada’s gold medal-winning side at the 2014 Olympics, and 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Vlasic’s current deal — a five-year, $21.25 million pact — carries an average cap hit of $4.25M. Wilson didn’t mince words in describing how good he thinks Vlasic is.

“Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league,” he said. “Marc-Edouard is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world.”

At this point, it’s fair to speculate when all these deals will get done. Wilson has a full plate with the four aforementioned negotiations, and also has to hammer out contracts for a trio of RFA forwards — Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi and Chris Tierney.

Fine but no suspension for Leon Draisaitl’s spear on Chris Tierney


Like it or not, the NHL doesn’t have a long track record of suspending players for spears (above or below the belt), at least when that player doesn’t have a history of discipline issues.

That likely factored into the league’s decision not to suspend Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl for that ugly spear to the groin of Chris Tierney of the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, Draisaitl gets the max fine of a bit more than $2,500.

While some scoff at the league’s process, it’s at least (somewhat) consistent, a point Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman echoes.

Ultimately, the Oilers don’t lose a key player against the Sharks after being embarrassed in Game 4. With the series tied 2-2 and the venue switching to Edmonton, that could be huge.

Draisaitl to have hearing for spearing Tierney in groin


The ugly incident that got Leon Draisaitl tossed from Edmonton’s 7-0 loss in San Jose last night has landed him in hot water.

On Wednesday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Draisaitl would have a disciplinary hearing for his spear to the groin of Sharks forward Chris Tierney.

Draisaitl was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for his actions, which came late in the second period of the blowout defeat. Afterward, Sharks forward Logan Couture said there was malice in Draisaitl’s actions.

Watch Sharks vs. Oilers: Game 5 on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBC Sports app)

“I think it’s dangerous,” Couture said, per the Mercury News. “Any time you spear a guy like that you’re intending to injure him. I don’t like those types of plays in this game, but the refs made a good call with throwing him out.”

Back in the 2014 playoffs, two players were fined — but not suspended — for spearing: Boston’s Milan Lucic, and Dallas’ Ryan Garbutt.

Sharks smoke Oilers 7-0, frustrate McDavid, tie series 2-2


People don’t need to wonder about the San Jose Sharks’ scoring ability after Tuesday.

Also not a concern: Cam Talbot being in their heads. And you can probably cross quite a few other things off that list, as you’d expect with the Sharks throttling Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers 7-0 in Game 4.

With that, it’s a “three-game series” as the Sharks tied things up 2-2.

Watch Sharks vs. Oilers: Game 5 on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBC Sports app)

The Sharks set the tone with a franchise-record 1-0 goal just 15 seconds in, with Joe Pavelski ending Cam Talbot’s shutout streak at 120:15. (More on that here.) San Jose would ultimately chase Talbot from the Oilers’ net on a night where their once-struggling power play went 4-for-8.

Part of that special teams dominance came after Leon Draisaitl was tossed from the game for spearing Chris Tierney in the groin. Tierney was able to return to the contest, which might lower the odds of a suspension, but check out more on that ugly bit of violence here.

“Ugly” is a pretty good word to describe the Oilers’ overall effort after grinding out two tough wins. The Sharks seemed to frustrate Connor McDavid, who’s now suffering from an extremely rare two-game pointless streak.

Of course, it’s also important to note that you don’t get a single bonus for winning a playoff game by seven goals or by winning an overtime thriller. Really, the Oilers might find themselves galvanized by such a resounding defeat, especially with the series shifting to Edmonton for Game 5.

The young Oilers were shaking off questions about experience and style of play before Tuesday, yet this was the sort of setback people were waiting for, especially against grizzled veterans in San Jose.

Now we get the next narrative wrinkle: how the NHL’s budding superstar and Edmonton’s other fresh faces react to this resounding rout.

Video: Leon Draisaitl ejected for ugly spear to Chris Tierney’s groin


It’s bad enough to get utterly dominated. It’s worse if the frustration and embarrassment angers a player to the point that he puts himself at risk of a future suspension.

Edmonton Oilers rising star Leon Draisaitl was ejected from Game 4 and might face further discipline for an ugly spear to the groin of Chris Tierney as the San Jose Sharks continue to run away with tonight’s contest.

Plenty of people consider it an ugly display, and not just those who have Sharks leanings:

Seeing this series go 2-2 already stings for Edmonton. If they lose Draisaitl for Game 5 or more, this defeat would be even more painful.

As of this writing, it looks like we’ll enter the third period with the Sharks up 6-0. Could things get even uglier?

Watch Sharks vs. Oilers: Game 5 on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBC Sports app)p)