The San Jose Sharks re-signed defenseman Jason Demers to a one-year contract Thursday to prevent him from becoming a restricted free agent next month.
Demers is the fourth potential free agent re-signed by the Sharks this month before the free agency period begins July 5. San Jose signed potential unrestricted free agent Raffi Torres to a $6 million, three-year deal, and reached deals Wednesday with pending restricted free agent forwards James Sheppard and Andrew Desjardins.
Demers, 25, had one goal and two assists in 22 games last season as he was hampered by a variety of injuries, including a broken wrist sustained during the lockout that cost him the first six games of the season. Demers played just one playoff game after spraining his ankle late in the regular season.
"He’s a player that obviously we’ve seen in the playoffs in the past," general manager Doug Wilson said. "When he’s healthy he’s a puck-moving guy who really fits how we want to play. … He’s just a player that we really like. Just needs to be healthy and have a great summer of training and come back and play at a level he’s capable of. He brings an element that we certainly like in our game."
The deal with Demers gives San Jose seven defenseman under contract already for next season, not including Brent Burns, who moved to forward midway through the season.
Burns excelled after the switch and provided a spark that helped lead San Jose from out of playoff position all the way to Game 7 of the second round against Los Angeles before falling to the Kings.
Wilson said he would talk with coach Todd McLellan next week and make a decision on where Burns would play next season.
"It’s a great luxury to have," Wilson said. "That decision is upcoming."
The Sharks also re-signed minor league forward Brodie Reid to a one-year contract. Reid had 10 goals and 11 assists in 34 games last season while dealing with an injured shoulder for Worcester of the AHL.
"We’re really high on him," Wilson said. "He has natural, great hands. He’s a goal scorer. … We don’t think he’s that far from being able to play."
San Jose still has one more potential restricted free agent in forward TJ Galiardi. Forwards Scott Gomez and Tim Kennedy, defenseman Scott Hannan, and backup goalies Thomas Greiss and Alex Stalock are among the potential unrestricted free agents.