The San Jose Sharks will be bringing back another piece from last season's team after agreeing to a two-year, $6.8 million extension with Jason Demers according to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada. The restricted free-agent defenseman was due for a salary arbitration hearing on July 22, which has now been avoided as the two sides agree to terms.
Demers put up 34 points last season in 75 games while averaging 19:29 of ice time per game, which made for a career year for the 26-year-old in his fifth season with the Sharks.
He's getting a substantial raise from his last contract with the club, which paid him $1.5 million last season. His new deal will take him to unrestricted free agency upon its completion.
Demers definitely was contributing to one of the best possession teams in the league, carrying a 54.9 Corsi for percentage in 2013-14. Demers also had a positive relative Corsi for percentage, meaning the team was possessing the puck better with him on the ice. He also blocked over 100 shots and saw time on both the power play and penalty kill. All but 10 of his points came at even strength.
The Quebec native has grown into a top-four option for the Sharks and appears to be solidifying himself as a dependable blueliner for the team. With Dan Boyle not being brought back by the Sharks, the window of opportunity for Demers to earn even more playing time is a bit wider.
With that in mind, for a player in his role, a $3.4 million annual cap hit is more than reasonable. The two-year term also gives Demers a chance to prove himself even further before having a chance to hit unrestricted free agency. All the while, both parties avoid the potentially uncomfortable situation of going through an arbitration hearing.