The Sharks signed forward James Sheppard to a one-year, $1.3 million contract Tuesday, leaving defenseman Jason Demers as the only regular from last season's lineup not in the fold. Sheppard's contract came 24 hours after forward Tommy Wingels agreed to a new three-year, $7.4 million contract. General manager Doug Wilson said having both 26-year-olds under contract was important to the rebuild he said the franchise is going through. "He certainly played well down the stretch and in the playoffs," Wilson said of Sheppard. "This is a very important summer for him to come back and start the beginning of next season right where he left off." Wingels, Wilson said, "epitomizes exactly what we're looking for in a player. ... The way he plays the game is certainly important for this phase we're going through." The longer contract for Wingels shows a commitment on both sides as he agreed to give up his first two years of unrestricted free agency. Wingels, speaking from Florida where he is getting married to his college girlfriend this weekend, said he was "humbled by the opportunity" to sign the long-term deal and did not sound put off by talk of a rebuild. "If they think we have a better chance to take one step back to get a couple steps closer, that's a decision Doug has to make," Wingels said. "As a player, you're committed to your team and you're committed to whatever decision the general manager makes." Attempts to reach Sheppard were unsuccessful.
Sharks give James Sheppard a one-year deal
San Jose Mercury News | Jul 8