The Sharks made one of the shrewder moves of their offseason today, locking up promising young defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a four-year, $12.4 million deal that kicks in after this season.
While some of the moves the Sharks have made at the blueline this offseason — signing Rob Blake, and trading for Brad Lukowich and Dan Boyle — have been questionable given the franchise’s strong depth at the back, especially in kids like Vlasic and the now-traded Matt Carle and Ty Wishart. They’ve gotten older without necessarily getting better throughout the defensive corps (Rob Blake has to be pushing 50 at this point, right?) and it seems like a pretty short-sighted plan from GM Doug Wilson, but this Vlasic signing is a very good move.
Vlasic, whom the Sharks selected with the second-round pick they got in the deal that sent Miikka Kiprusoff to Calgary, may not put up big offensive numbers (two goals, 14 points last year), but he eats minutes like someone who is not just 21 years old, and he blocks shots.
“We think he’s one of the best young defensemen in the game and he plays in all situations,” General Manager Doug Wilson said Wednesday. “And we think he’ll only get better playing with some of the players we’ve added this summer.”
Conventional wisdom out west has San Jose pairing him with Blake, and Vlasic likes the area and team and wanted to stay long-term. Makes sense for both sides.
In two years, we’ll all be grumbling about what a great deal Vlasic, at just $3.1 million a season, is for the Sharks.