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Sharks sign Marleau and Pavelski to four-year deals

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - The San Jose Sharks re-signed Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski to four-year contracts that will keep two of their key forwards from testing free agency next week, the team said on Thursday.

Marleau, who led the Sharks with 44 goals last season, and Pavelski, who tied a career-best with 25 goals, helped steer the team to the best record in the National Hockey League's Western Conference last season.

"We are very pleased that Patty and Joe have committed to this organization now and in the future," Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said on the team's website (http://sharks.nhl.com).

Earlier this week, the Sharks said they would part ways with long-time goaltender and free agent-to-be Evgeni Nabokov due to salary cap restrictions.

The Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings in the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs before being eliminated by eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago in the conference final.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by John Mehaffey)