In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, there have been several potential candidates discussed as the team’s next general manager (GM). In other news, Timo Meier has been voted as the team’s MVP for the 2021-22 season. Meanwhile, Brent Burns has been nominated by the San Jose chapter for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. Last but not least, Tomas Hertl said how excited he is to start the 2022-23 season playing in his home town, Prague.
Sharks Searching for New General Manager
With Doug Wilson recently stepping down as the Sharks’ GM, the hunt is on to find somebody to replace him. While a final decision may not be announced for some time, two names being discussed right now are Kevin Weekes and John Ferguson, Jr.
For Weekes, it would be his first time in an NHL front office. The 47-year-old former goaltender enjoyed a successful 348-game NHL career, and has since transitioned into a broadcasting role. Despite his lack of experience, he has a great understanding of the game and also has lengthy experience as an NHL player, which many believe to be a huge asset for both coaches and GMs.
As for Ferguson, Jr., he currently serves as the assistant GM for the Arizona Coyotes, a role he began in 2021. Prior to that, he served as the GM for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2003-2008, and has held positions with the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins. He also served as a scout with the Sharks from 2008-2014.
Meier Voted as Team MVP
On Saturday, it was announced that Meier was voted as the Sharks MVP for the 2021-22 season by the Bay Area media. This marks the second time in three years that he has received the honor, and doesn’t come as any sort of surprise given the fantastic season he has had. Through 75 games thus far, he has set career highs with 35 goals and 76 points, both of which lead the Sharks.
While most believe the next few seasons could be a struggle for the Sharks, that may not entirely be the case if the 25-year-old Meier is able to continue progressing off of this great season. Of course, it is worth noting that he has just one more season remaining on his deal that carries a cap hit of $6 million.
Burns Selected as Masterton Nominee
Every year at season’s end, each team has one player selected for as their nominee for the Masterton Trophy. The Masterton is awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.” This season, the San Jose chapter chose to nominate Burns.
Though the trophy is generally won by a player who has gone through hardship, Burns is still an excellent selection for the Sharks. At the age of 37, an age which many players have declined heavily or are already out of the league, Burns has continued to produce thanks in large part to his great dedication to stay in tremendous shape each and every year. In 80 games this season, he has recorded a very solid 10 goals and 53 points.
Hertl Excited for Opportunity to Play in Prague
Last Thursday, the NHL announced that the Sharks will begin their 2022-23 season playing in Prague, Czech Republic. These types of opportunities are always exciting to teams as it gives them an opportunity to travel while also helping grow the game in different areas of the world. One player in particular who is extremely for the opportunity is Hertl.
The 28-year-old grew up in Prague, meaning he will have the opportunity to play in front of friends and family. He recently spoke with San Jose Hockey Now about just how happy he is to get the chance to do so.
“I can’t wait for the experience,” Hertl said. “We will play in the building that I started to play pro hockey in. I used to go watch hockey. And now I’ll be playing an NHL game [there].”
Hertl, who is currently in his ninth season with the Sharks, played parts of three seasons with HC Slavia Praha in the Czech league from 2010-2013. Since then, he has become a very good player at the NHL level, and has had himself another solid season in 2021-22 with 30 goals and 64 points in 80 games.
Up Next for the Sharks
With playoffs out of the picture, the Sharks have just two games remaining for the 2021-22 season. The first will take place on Thursday night against a divisional rival in the Edmonton Oilers, who have had themselves a fantastic season as they recently clinched the second seed in the Pacific Division. After that, the Sharks will play in their season finale on Friday in a game against the NHLs newest squad, the Seattle Kraken.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.