In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, Tomas Hertl and the Sharks are reportedly discussing a contract extension. Meanwhile, Mario Ferraro’s agent says his client, whose contract is up at season’s end, would like to sign a long-term extension. In other news, Timo Meier spoke about how much fun he had at his first All-Star game in Las Vegas this past weekend. Last but not least, prospect Nick Merkley recently explained how difficult it can be being a bubble player who is up and down between the NHL and the American Hockey League (AHL).
Hertl & Sharks Talking Extension
Sharks acting general manager Joe Will discussed Hertl’s future on Thursday. The 28-year-old forward has been subject to plenty of trade rumors due to the fact his contract is set to expire at season’s end, but a trade may not come to fruition.
Will explained that he believes Hertl wants to remain a Shark long-term, and the two sides are working toward getting a deal done. From the sounds of it, he has no interest in moving the nine-year veteran.
“[I] don’t have any interest in doing anything outside of just working on the negotiation and signing him,” Will said.
It has been a solid 2021-22 season for Hertl, who has 22 goals and 38 points through 46 games. He is one of the Sharks’ best offensive weapons, so you can understand why the team is hoping to get him re-signed. Whether or not he chooses to stay in San Jose remains to be seen.
Ferraro Hoping for Long-Term Deal
Since his rookie season in 2019-20, Ferraro has become a big part of not only the Sharks blue line but their dressing room. That was proven prior to this season when he was named an assistant captain at just 23 years old. Not only is he a great leader, but he is also quietly becoming a great player, averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game this season.
Not much talk has been made in regards to what Ferraro’s next deal may look like, but according to his agent, he is hoping it is a lengthy one. It will be a situation to keep an eye on, as the 2017 second-round pick has made huge strides in recent years and should only continue to get better.
Meier Enjoys First All-Star Game
The lone Shark taking part in this year’s All-Star festivities was Meier, who has had a fantastic season with 21 goals and 47 points through 41 games. It was the first time the 25-year-old has suited up for an All-Star game, and from the sounds of it, he won’t be forgetting the experience any time soon.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming in, but bunch of great guys, and it was fun being out there for sure,” Meier told reporters.
Meier, who competed in the hardest shot event, had his second shot register at 100.1 MPH, which was good enough for fourth place. He also put up a goal and an assist for Team Pacific in what ended up being a 6-4 loss.
Merkley Speaks on Difficulties of Being a Fringe NHLer
Since being drafted 30th overall in 2015 by the Arizona Coyotes, Merkley has been up and down between the NHL and AHL on several occasions. It happened as a member of the Coyotes and continued during his time as a New Jersey Devil. Now, in his first season with the Sharks organization, it is continuing to still be a trend, as the 24-year-old has played in 29 games with the San Jose Barracuda and nine with the Sharks.
“It definitely can be a mental battle at times,” Merkley said when asked about being up and down. “When you think you’re doing well, and then you get sent down, and you’re kind of just wondering why – it’s a lot of mental rather than just the physical on the ice because you want to do well, and you want to be up there as much as you can.”
The good news for Merkley is that another opportunity may soon be on the way. He has played quite well during his time with the Barracuda, putting up six goals and 23 points thus far. Perhaps his next opportunity, whenever it comes, will allow him to finally prove he has what it takes to be a regular at the NHL level.
Up Next for the Sharks
The Sharks have had an extended break since the All-Star break and will not play again until Feb. 14 against the Edmonton Oilers. It will be a huge game for them, as they are slowly beginning to slide out of the playoff picture but have an opportunity to get back into the thick of things if they can string wins together with a little more consistently in the second half of the season.
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.