NHL Rumors: Sharks, Avalanche, Flyers, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the San Jose Sharks are expected to make an official extension offer to Tomas Hertl soon. Meanwhile, Nathan MacKinnon came close to getting in serious trouble after it appeared he slashed an official during a Colorado Avalanche game against the Boston Bruins. Why is he not getting suspended? The Philadelphia Flyers have a defenseman who is attracting attention and why did the Toronto Maple Leafs trade for Carter Hutton? Where will he wind up considering the depth the Maple Leafs have at that position?

Sharks to Make Offer to Hertl

The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reports that the Sharks haven’t made an official extension offer to Hertl but one is coming. Should something not get done in the next couple of weeks, the team will look to trade him before the NHL Trade Deadline.

Tomas Hertl San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks (Photo by Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images)

Pagnotta notes:

“San Jose has certainly voiced their desire to keep him in San Jose, and they’ve made those desires clear to Hertl’s camp. But outside of that, there hasn’t been much yet to date. No contract offer officially put forward for Hertl. That will happen, from what I’m hearing, in the next week or two.”

It is believed Hertl is seeking a long-term deal at around $7 million per season on an extension.

MacKinnon Will Avoid Discipline For Apparent Slash

There was a lot of talk on Monday afternoon regarding the stick incident involving Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and an NHL official. As per Nick Kypreos, “NHL hockey operations have investigated it with officials and all concluded zero intent. No further review I’m told will be necessary.”

When you slow the play down, it appears MacKinnon actually hits the ice between the official’s legs, and not the official, although it’s not clear why MacKinnon would make such a risky decision. It certainly appears he intended to slash someone. Anaheim’s Antonie Vermette did something similar back in 2017 and got a 10-game suspension for it. In that instance, it was clear he made contact with the official, but a number of fans are comparing the two situations and wondering why MacKinnon isn’t getting anything.

Lots of Interest in Justin Braun

Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman Justin Braun is getting some interest around the NHL as a Plan B type of trade option ahead of this year’s deadline. The 35-year old is a pending UFA that carries a $1.8 million salary cap hit. He’s an affordable option for many teams and while he’s not flashy, is considered a reliable depth defenseman who can be useful in a playoff run.

Justin Braun Philadelphia Flyers
Justin Braun, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Braun is a good defensive defenseman, and as a number six defenseman who can also play on special teams, expect him to be moved in the next couple of weeks. He’s played 100 career NHL playoff games and is playing a top-four role with the Flyers. Pierre LeBrun says the Flyers will deal him and have heard from about half-a-dozen teams already. The Carolina Hurricanes apparently called and there’s some thought the Toronto Maple Leafs did as well.

Maple Leafs Plans For Hutton

The Toronto Maple Leafs made another trade Monday when they acquired goaltender Carter Hutton from the Arizona Coyotes for future considerations. With Jack Campbell, Peter Mrazek and Joseph Woll on the roster, many are wondering what the plan is for Hutton.

Related: Maple Leafs: 3 Potential Trade Destinations for Pierre Engvall

PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reports that there is no plan to play Hutton in the NHL as of now and that he’ll spend time with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. He writes, “He’s staying in Arizona. Per a league source”. The plan is to have the insurance of an extra goalie in their system.

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Hutton just cleared through waivers so the Maple Leafs won’t lose him as they’ve lost a few other players they’ve recently acquired. Also per a source, Hutton consented to the deal with the agreement that he would not be separated from his family by going to another city. It’s not likely the Maple Leafs will need him, but if they do, he can still be recalled to Toronto.