The rumors that the San Jose Sharks were working hard to bring Devin Setoguchi back to the team sooner rather than later, as the team inked him to a three year deal worth $9 million on Thursday. Setoguchi was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1st, but the two sides were working towards a deal for at least the last week. Setoguchi has been a key contributor to the team since arriving in 2007, but has never quite reached the magic of his 2008-2009 season since it happened.
While 2009-2010 was definitely a down year, he did a lot this past season to get back in the good graces of the team and its fans. His style of play meshes well with the rest of the team, in that it's totally different in essentially every way. Setoguchi's speed and style is a stark contrast to the slow play from most of the team, and the Sharks are doing well for themselves by locking him up, and would continue to do well if they possibly found somebody else of similar playing style, so Setoguchi doesn't remain the only speed threat on the team.
Setoguchi finished the 2010-2011 season with 22 goals 19 assists, topping that off with seven goals and three assists in the playoffs, two of said goals were game-winners. He had a hat trick to his credit in the playoffs as well. He's still looking for consistency, and a solid three-year deal at this price with the cap room the Sharks are looking to have this offseason is probably just what he needs to gain that consistency. He'll have every chance to impress and, at $3 million per, it's hard to see him not doing so.
2014 is now a big year in regards to free agency for the Sharks. While it's three years away, it's worth noting that the team has Setoguchi, Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau all on expiring contracts at that point. Obviously, some will be re-signed before then, but it sheds some light as to the current San Jose playoff window. They were bounced out just short of the Stanley Cup Finals this past season by the Vancouver Canucks, who went on to lose to the Boston Bruins in the finals.