| Preissing & Smith
No word on UFAs
6/30/04 - By Mike Lee
The Sharks resigned two
restricted free agents on Wednesday, but mums still the word on the four
players who will become unrestricted free agents at the strike of midnight on
Thursday. Defenseman Tom Preissing and center Mark Smith were inked to new
deals, but veterans Vincent Damphousse, Mike Ricci, Todd Harvey and Jason
Marshall are set to sign with anyone they choose to as of the official start of
the free agency period on July 1.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson seems intent
on keeping the word he gave last Summer when he said that all eligible players
will be signed before the start of training camp in the Fall. Last season,
Wilson made sure all of his restricted free agents were inked to deals before
camp and thereby avoiding the distractions that cost the Sharks the season
Preissing returns after his surprising rookie season. The
Rosemount, Minnesota native wasn't even supposed to crack the NHL roster last
season after signing his first pro contract out of college, but he would go on
to play in 69 games, recording 2 goals and 17 assists. Preissing was also voted
the team's rookie of the year.
Smith only saw action in 36 games, all
on San Jose's checking line. He recorded 1 goal and 3 assists in his limited
Wilson has also been actively pursuing forward Curtis Brown, who
is an unrestricted free agent.
"We are still in discussions," said Wilson. "It will
come down to finding a number and a term that makes sense. I think you know how
we feel about Curtis. He came in and did a great job. I look at him like Alyn
McCauley where we try and create an opportunity and build a contract based on
opportunity and fair market value."
The Sharks also extended
qualifying offers to Rob Davison, Niko Dimitrakos, Nils Ekman, Jim Fahey, Scott
Hannan, Evgeni Nabokov, Scott Parker, Wayne Primeau, Vesa Toskala and Miroslav
Of that group, Ekman, Hannan, Primeau, Nabokov and Toskala
may file for arbitration. The Sharks may still negotiate contracts with these
players before the July 15th arbitration filing date.
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