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Marleau, Sturm, Stuart & Parker signed
Wilson locks up nine players total on Monday
8/16/05 - by Mike Lee

Two weeks ago the Sharks roster consisted of ten players who were formally under contract. Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has since signed twelve players who are likely to open the regular season on the NHL roster and five more prospects. All of this signing activity was capped on Monday when Wilson inked four of his regulars, including captain Patrick Marleau, forward Marco Sturm, enforcer Scott Parker and defenseman Brad Stuart.

Only forward Alexander Korolyuk remains without a contract, and the Sharks have filed for an arbitration hearing to decide the Russian forward's fate. Korolyuk also has the option of playing abroad, should he not like what the arbitrator's deem appropriate in terms of salary.

The Sharks gave Marleau a three-year contract, which should give the eight-year veteran a chance to solidify his role as captain. His 28 goals and 29 assists in 2003-04 tied career highs, and his 558 games played ranks him third all-time among Shark players. Mike Rathje, who recently signed a five-year contract with Philadelphia is the Sharks all-time leader with 671 games played.

"The primary objective is to take care of your core group," Wilson said. "We don't change how we've operated for the last couple of years. We certainly like where a lot of our own players are at, and it's an exciting time for this group."

Sturm and Stuart were give two -year contracts. Sturm's contract will pay him $2 million this coming season. The speedy German winger was on his way to besting his career point mark until an ankle injury sidelined him with 20 games remaining in the 2003-04 season.

Stuart set a career high by scoring 39 points in 2003-04 and will return as one of the Sharks primary defenders along side Scott Hannan and Kyle McLaren.

San Jose also announced the re-signing defensemen Matt Carkner, Garrett Stafford and Doug Murray, left wing Josh Pruden and goaltender Nolan Schaefer, all to one-year deals.

"Every day is a trade deadline to me, so there's different ways of acquiring players," Wilson said. "We look every day at options and opportunities that are there."

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