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NHL Free Agency 2012: San Jose Sharks Sign Several Free Agents

Alex Stalock was the biggest signing for the San Jose Sharks Monday.
Alex Stalock was the biggest signing for the San Jose Sharks Monday.Brian Bahr/Getty Images
MJ KasprzakSenior Writer IIJuly 3, 2012

The San Jose Sharks signed at least four more players on the second day of this summer's NHL free-agency period. But many NHL fans will not know their games by their names.

Sharks fans are very familiar with one name. Alex Stalock is one of the franchise's top goalie prospects, and the team announced they had re-signed him to a one-year contract worth $687,500 (as reported by CapGeek).

Shortly after making his NHL debut in 2011—saving all nine shots over 30 minutes for a win in relief of Antti Niemi—Stalock was badly injured by a skate blade. After a long rehabilitation, he returned to action in January and was impressive in Worcester, going 3-1-0 with a 1.87 GAA and .932 save pct. in five starts.

The Sharks also re-signed defenceman Matt Irwin to a one-year, $650,000 two-way contract (he earns just $105,000 if he remains in the minors, according to CapGeek). Irwin provides Worcester with offensive production from the blue line, totaling 73 points in 146 career AHL games. At 24, he still might have a chance to develop into an NHL defenceman.

San Jose also added 31-year-old forward Bracken Kearns, according to Renaud P. Lavoie. He made his NHL debut last season with the Florida Panthers, and had no points with 10 penalty minutes in five games.

Lavoie also reports that unrestricted free agent John McCarthy being re-signed to a two-year, $1,125,000 deal. It has a unique structure in that the first year is at a two-way contract that pays $600,000, (McCarthy would be paid only $105,000 in Worcester) while the second is a one-way contract that guarantees him $625,000.

The 25-year old is one of the top forwards in what is known in San Jose as the "Worcester Shuttle" (minor league players frequently called up for brief stints in San Jose). He has nine goals and seven assists in 51 career NHL games.

Finally, according to nhl.com, the Sharks signed 31-year old Danny Groulx, a former standout on the Worcester blue line who played 24 games over two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League of Russia. His deal is for one year, but as of 9:00 am PDT Tuesday, financial details have not been reported.

(Click this link to see an analysis of the players and the long-range significance of the moves for San Jose.)

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