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Stalock’s free agent fate lies in San Jose’s hands

Feb 3, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

alexstalockgetty Getty Images

Alex Stalock has burst onto the scene this season, breaking San Jose’s franchise shutout streak while emerging as a quality No. 2 behind Antti Niemi — which makes this tidbit from CSN Bay Area all the more interesting…

The 26-year-old would have to play at least 30 minutes in 14 more regular season or playoff games in order to qualify as a restricted free agent, thereby giving the Sharks more flexibility in contract negotiations. If he does not, he will be unrestricted, and could command a larger paycheck.

The Sharks have not yet had any conversations with Stalock about an extension, a source told

The Sharks have 26 games remaining in the regular season, including tonight’s game versus Philadelphia.

As mentioned, Stalock would become a Group 6 RFA (for more on that, read here) if he plays the required amount of games, and that designation could prove financially beneficial for the Sharks, who head into next season carrying some pretty large cap hits while still needing to reach new deals for defensemen Dan Boyle and Jason Demers.

Stalock has given San Jose some quality games in recent weeks and has been the goalie of record in three of the Sharks’ last six outings. He’s 7-4-0 with a 1.69 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in 14 games overall, which is great production given he’s only making $625,000 this year.

Last week, Stalock broke Evgeni Nabokov’s shutout streak record by going 178:55 without allowing a single tally.

  1. mrpinkca - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    The only way this ends up happening is if Niemi gets injured. Niemi led the league in minutes last season and he’s leading this season. The Sharks have always used their starters pretty heavily.

    • sjsharks86 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Coach has said that they plan on using Stalock more later in the season, w/ Nemo going to Sochi (although I doubt he gets to play much behind Tuukka), Stalock’s solid play and the way the guys play in front of him this makes sense. The kid is a stud and SHOULD be SJ’s starter eventually.

      • sochiolympicshockey - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Remember, the “kid” you refer to is already 26, and only four years younger than Nemo. He was supposed to be the future starter before he had that near-career-ending-injury. The amount of time, patience and support Stalock has gotten from the Sharks franchise will keep him in SJ at a low salary for years to come if DW goes down that path (Stalock as the #2 at let’s say, 1.5 mil for 3 years? He might very well be an eventual starter.

    • skr213 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      “The Sharks have always used their starters pretty heavily.” ^^^
      So what you’re saying is that you haven’t followed the Sharks and/or hockey long enough to remember the Nabby/Toskala goalie tandem?

      • fresnodick - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        The Nabby/Toskala tandem was for a relatively short period. Typically the Sharks overuse their starter, leaving him worn out for the playoffs. In any case, they should keep Stalock. WIth the cap going up, they should have a few dollars for him.

  2. sjsharks66 - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Stalock should start tonight and on the Philly game after the break. This guy is great so far. The Sharks need to start switching goalie starts more often. Niemi seems like he plays 75 games a season and then every playoff game. Give the guy a break occasionally and maybe it will show in the post season?

  3. skr213 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Anyone paying attention should have known that Stalock was the real deal a few seasons ago prior to his achilles injury. I think he’s the future starter for the team and they should groom him more and more.

    • sjsharks86 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      It was his peroneal nerve behind his knee that was severed, but yeah I was so stoked that game when he came in to relieve Nemo and got the win, I had been eagerly anticipating him breaking into the league. When he got hurt I was afraid his career was over, which makes me so much more excited to see him playing again and coming up quick. I would say he’s on track to be the starter in the next 2 years.

  4. mcphillthy - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Geez that must feel nice to have goaltending developed in your own farm. Man I’m so jealous! This kid looks like he is going to be a stud.

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