NHL notes: Sharks re-sign Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton

With their new deals, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, both 34, could retire as Sharks. (Reuters)

With their new deals, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, both 34, could retire as Sharks. (Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:08 PM ET

The San Jose Sharks have locked up two of their top three scorers.

Longtime Sharks Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton both signed three-year contract extensions Friday. Marleau's average annual salary will be $6.6 million per year while Thornton is set to make an average of $6.75-million per season, according to ESPN.

Thornton leads the NHL in assists this season, his eighth with San Jose, with 47. His 53 points ranks fifth.

Marleau, a member of Team Canada's Sochi Olympics squad, has 21 goals and 47 points this year. He is in his 16th season with the Sharks, who drafted him first overall at the 1997 NHL draft.

The 34-year-old forwards were set to hit the free agent market this summer.

STAMKOS TAKING CONTACT

Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos says he’s continuing to progress after X-rays on his broken tibia Thursday yielded positive news.

He told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday that he’s hoping to play in the Lightning’s final two home games (Feb. 6 and 8) before the NHL breaks for the Sochi Games, meaning he’s on track to suit up for Team Canada.

"I'm very pleased with how the bone is healing," Stamkos said of the injury he suffered Nov. 11. "I think it's pretty close to a point where it comes down to how I'm feeling out there."

The 22-year-old will have another X-ray early next month and said he plans to take light contact during Saturday’s morning skate. If he returns by Feb. 6, he’ll achieve his goal of returning after just three months.

"When we talked about it being three months, 12 weeks (recover), it was very aggressive," Stamkos said. "But saying that, I like to think that being young and being able to do all the rehab I've been able to do, having that positive mindset that it can be before that.

“That's the goal, we're going to shoot towards that goal and hopefully we can accomplish it."

BRIEFLY

The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned forward Richard Panik to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, the team announced Friday. Panik, 22, played 39 games with the Lightning this season, collecting two goals and 11 points to go along with 15 penalty minutes ... The Boston Bruins announced Sunday second-year defenceman Dougie Hamilton (mild concussion) and forward Chris Kelly (broken right angle) have been cleared for contact, according to CSN New England ... The Carolina Hurricanes announced they’ve assigned 20-year-old defenceman Ryan Murphy to the club’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte.


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