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Joe Pavelski signs five-year extension with Sharks

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Joe Pavelski will be a Shark for the next six seasons now. (USATSI)
Joe Pavelski will be a Shark for the next six seasons now. (USATSI)

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Joe Pavelski had one year remaining on his current contract so instead of waiting, the Sharks decided to get an extension out of the way now.

The team announced on Tuesday that they have signed Pavelski to a five-year contract extension. Craig Custance reports it's for $30 million, so $6 million per season.

"Joe has been an important part of our success over the last several years and we are excited to have him with our club for the next six seasons," GM Doug Wilson said.

Pavelski has grown into an excellent top-six centerman for the Sharks. Over the past two full seasons he has played he put up 66 and 61 points, including a career-high 31 goals in 2011-12. This past season he played all 48 games and had 16 goals with 15 assists.

The concern here, though, is will Pavelski still be the same player when this contract runs out. It won't actually kick in until Pavelski is 30 years old and we know that in hockey terms, 30 is over the hill. Certainly players can perform and perform well when they hit that magic number, but for most players the peak of their production comes before that age, not after.

Pavelski was originally a seventh-round draft choice by the Sharks back in 2003. The Wisconsin native spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin before moving onto the pro ranks and establishing himself as one of the Sharks top scorers. Pavelski played for the US in the 2010 Olympics and is expected to be on the 2014 team in Sochi as well, perhaps as the top-line center.

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