Martin Jones gets six more years, $34.5 million in San Jose
The San Jose Sharks didn’t want to waste any time recommitting to Martin Jones.
With one year still left on the deal he signed in 2015 worth $3 million for the 2017-18 season, Saturday was the earliest possible moment Jones could be signed to an extension. The Sharks didn’t see any need to wait, giving themselves and Jones some certainty for the following six seasons.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) July 1, 2017
The six-year extension represents a substantial pay raise for the 27-year-old, who will see his salary more than double in the first year of the deal, to $6.75 million. His salary will decrease over time such that in the final year of the deal, he’ll be earning $5 million in salary. The structure makes his cap hit a more manageable $5.75 million AAV, and includes with a limited no-trade clause.
Jones is noted for his calm in net, a characteristic Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson emphasized in talking about the deal.
“We’re very happy we could get this extension done with Martin and feel that he is just beginning to hit his peak in terms of growth and prime playing seasons,” said Wilson. “He has proven that he is more than capable of excelling in high-pressure situations and big games, and we feel he has become one of the top goaltenders in the League. He is a calming influence in net for our team and we’re excited to have him in net for us for the foreseeable future.”
Over his time in the NHL, Jones has worked to add more reactive aspects of his game, as he told InGoal Magazine in 2016. Having come to the franchise with a strong technical foundation, he worked to improve things like puck reading and reacting “out of the box,” as he put it.
It took a lot of video work as well as in-game experience to help Jones know when to loosen up from that technical foundation and just react.
The calm demeanor and strong positioning will be helpful if the Sharks rely on Jones the way they have for the past two seasons. Jones’s 65 games a season place him near the very top of the workload list among NHL goalies.
Behind him the Sharks have Aaron Dell, who impressed in limited time last season, but after that their cupboard is a bit bare, with only Troy Groesnick currently on the roster for their AHL team.
Jones is obviously considered part of the Sharks’ core, and a deal like this one indicates that they see last season’s .912 overall save percentage as a dip in the road. For a team with Stanley Cup ambitions, they’ll need better from him. His playoff performance was good (.935 in 6 games) but not enough to raise the Sharks past the Edmonton Oilers in the first round.
This deal is a bit of a risk given the history and the lack of depth in the San Jose system. It might pay off in the end, but that $5.75 million cap hit for a 32-year-old goalie in Year Six could be problematic.
You can read more about Jones’ evolution and style – and download a desktop poster of him in action – by clicking the image below to the complete InGoal Magazine feature: