Sharks sign All-Star defenseman Karlsson to eight-year deal

The San Jose Sharks have re-signed Erik Karlsson to an eight-year contract.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though TSN reported it is worth more than $11million per season.

San Jose went into negotiations with the upper hand over other teams, who were unable to speak with Karlsson and his representatives before July 1.

Karlsson logged three goals and 42 assists in 53 regular-season games in his first year with the Sharks as he dealt with numerous injuries. He added an additional two goals and 14 assists in 19 playoff games but missed the Western Conference Finals.

"We are extremely pleased that Erik and his wife Melinda have committed to the San Jose Sharks and that they have done so prior to July 1," general manager Doug Wilson said in a release. 

"Players with Erik's elite level of talent are rare and when they become available, it's important to be aggressive in pursuing them.

"He is a difference maker who consistently makes the players around him better. We are pleased that he has been proactive in addressing his injury from last season and are looking forward to him being part of our organisation for a long time to come."

Now San Jose will shift focus to re-signing captain Joe Pavelski and veteran Joe Thornton, though Karlsson's huge contract may make doing so more difficult.

Pavelski, who turns 35 on July 11, scored 38 goals last season, just three fewer than his career high of 41.

Thornton will be 40 on July 2 and is likely to come back on a one-year deal if he does return. He has long said he wants to finish his career in San Jose, but his future hinges on what the Sharks give other free agents.

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