The San Jose Sharks, parent club of the AHL’s Worcester Sharks, have signed forward Bracken Kearns and defenseman Danny Groulx to one-year contracts, and re-signed goaltender Alex Stalock and defenseman Matt Irwin to one-year contracts.
Kearns made his NHL debut in 2011-12, appearing in five games for Florida and amassing 10 penalty minutes. He finished tied for second on San Antonio (AHL) in points (22-30=52), tied for third in goals and fourth in penalty minutes (58) in 69 games played. He added seven points (2-5=7) in 10 Calder Cup Playoff games as well.
Kearns, 31, has appeared in 407 career American Hockey League games with Cleveland, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Rockford and San Antonio, registering 220 points (89 goals, 131 assists) and 423 penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Vancouver, B.C., signed his first NHL contract with Phoenix on July 6, 2010.
Groulx, 31, spent the last two seasons playing in the KHL. In his last season prior to competing in Russia, Groulx won the Eddie Shore Award, given to the AHL’s best defenseman, and was named to the AHL First All-Star Team as a member of the Worcester Sharks in 2009-10. That season, he led the league in points by a defenseman (14-52=66), which also led Worcester overall.
Since entering the professional ranks in 2002-03, Groulx has spent seven of those seasons in the American Hockey League playing for Grand Rapids, Manitoba, Hamilton, Rockford and Worcester, totaling 495 regular-season games played and 196 points (38 goals, 158 assists).
The 6-foot, 205-pound native of LaSalle, Que., was originally signed as free agent by Detroit on Aug. 12, 2002.
Stalock missed the majority of the 2011-12 season due to injury, returning to game action on Jan. 21 with Stockton (ECHL). After being recalled to the American Hockey League, he appeared in five total games between Worcester and Peoria. At the AHL level, he combined to post a 3-1-0 record with a 1.87 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage and one shutout.
In 2010-11, Stalock posted a 2.63 GAA and a .907 save percentage in 41 games played with Worcester. He also made his NHL debut, earning a relief win on Feb. 2 vs. Phoenix stopping all nine shots that he faced. During the 2009-10 season, he was an AHL All-Star, named to the AHL All-Rookie Team, and set an AHL record for victories by a rookie goaltender (39).
The 6-foot, 180-pound native of St. Paul, Minn., was selected by San Jose in the fourth round (112th overall) in the 2005 NHL Draft.
Irwin played 71 games for Worcester in 2011-12, posting 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) and 48 penalty minutes. He finished the season first on the team in shots on goal (209), assists (31), power-play goals (9) and power-play points (24), and second on the team in points (42).
Among all AHL defenseman, Irwin finished the 2011-12 season first in power-play goals, first in shots on goal, tied for ninth in goals and tied for ninth in points. He was named to the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, where he played for the Eastern Conference.
Irwin has played 146 games for Worcester since turning pro in 2010 following his sophomore season at UMass-Amherst. He has tallied 21 goals and 52 assists for 73 points.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Victoria, B.C., was signed by San Jose as a free agent on March 23, 2010.