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Wilson continues to fill out his roster
McLaren also receives contract extention
8/12/05 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks continue to work through their summer to do list of resigning free agents, but General Manager Doug Wilson dedicated some time on defenseman Kyle McLaren's current contract on Thursday, slapping on an additional three years. The new deal will keep McLaren in teal through the 2008-09 season. Right wing Niko Dimitrakos was also re-signed to a two year deal.

By the Sharks most physical defenseman, McLaren's punishing style of play will ensure some balance to a blue line consisting of Brad Stuart, Scott Hannan, Jim Fahey, Tom Preissing, Christian Ehrhoff and Rob Davison.

San Jose's blueliners are all under contract, although the departure of senior statesman Mike Rathje creates a hole that may still be filled with a free agent acquisition or a prospect call up assuming someone shines in training camp come September.

The Sharks have a stable of young defenseman in Cleveland, but nobody stands out as a lock to make the jump to the NHL this season. Cleveland's lackluster 2004-05 season exposed serious holes in the prospect pool and two members of that roster Fahey & Ehrhoff) are already slated to see regular ice time in San Jose this season.

Garrett Stafford and Doug Murray would be the most logical choices for possible promotions. Both are disciples of collegiate programs, although Stafford has one more year of AHL experience under his belt.

Dimitrakos signing leaves only Patrick Marleau, Scott Parker, Brad Stuart, and Marco Sturm unsigned. Forward Alexander Korolyuk will have to go through arbitration should he decide to return to the NHL. Several unconfirmed reports indicate that the winger may remain in his native Russia and play for bigger dollars.

One of the advantages of filing for arbitration (which is a new right for clubs this year), Korolyuk would remain property of the Sharks should he return to North America, and would be bound contractually to the deal the arbitrator rules on as part of the arbitration proceedings.

UYA Watch

Eric Lindros finally got his wish to play in Ontario and will join the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. Lindros was inked to a one-year deal worth $1.55 million.

The Boston Bruins signed Joe Thornton to a three year deal, worth $20 million. The signing is of special interest to Wilson, because he's still trying to re-sign restricted free agent forward Patrick Marleau, and the Thornton numbers will undoubtedly influence was Marleau asks for.

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