Carle, Sharks agree to four-year contract extension

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Defenseman Matt Carle agreed to a
four-year, $13.75 million contract extension Wednesday with the
San Jose Sharks, who locked up another key young player with a lengthy

Carle, who won the Hobey Baker award as the NCAA's top player at
Denver in 2006, has been a regular on San Jose's blue line since
signing a pro contract late in the 2005-06 season. He scored 42
points in 77 games last season, making the NHL's all-rookie team
along with fellow Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

"When you look at the number of players that have committed to
this organization over the last few years -- guys like
Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo, Evgeni Nabokov,
Rivet, Milan Michalek -- it's easy to want to be here," said Carle,
who would have been a restricted free agent after the season.

"The front office has proven that they are serious about
winning multiple Stanley Cups, and that's something I want to be a
part of," Carle said.

Carle has just one goal and five assists in 18 games this
season, playing through a three-game benching earlier this month.
But he's a key part of the Sharks' defensive core along with
Vlasic, Christian Ehrhoff and veterans Rivet and Kyle McLaren.

Doug Wilson has been among the NHL's most aggressive general
managers in locking up his young talent with long-term contracts --
a necessity under the collective bargaining agreement, he claims.

"In this case, Matt is a player that we know well," Wilson
said. "He has four rounds of NHL playoff experience and has played
in, and won, two collegiate national championships. He has a great
mentality, the drive to win, and is on his way to becoming a
dynamic player in this league. We love having him as one of our
core players in the years to come."

The Pacific Division-leading Sharks are in the middle of a
weeklong break before Saturday's home game against Los Angeles.