Sharks News & Rumors: Hertl, Hill, Kane & More

In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, Tomas Hertl recently spoke about his current status as a pending unrestricted free agent, and many believe the comments didn’t seem overly optimistic in terms of him staying. Meanwhile, Adin Hill is being shut down for the foreseeable future being with what the team is calling a lower-body injury. In other news, Evander Kane made his return to the SAP Center on Monday and was met with boos from Sharks faithful. Last but not least, former Sharks assistant coach Jay Woodcroft landed his first-ever head coaching gig in the NHL last week.

Hertl Speaks on Potential Extension

Plenty has been made this year about the status of Hertl, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The Sharks have made it clear they are hoping to keep the 28-year-old around, but given their struggles in recent years, some believe Hertl may want to explore free agency. He himself hasn’t said definitively one way or another, though he has mentioned in the past he would be open to signing an extension and echoed those same sentiments this past week.

Tomas Hertl San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“We just want, for both sides, to be fair,” Hertl told reporters.

Fair for Hertl would likely come at a price tag of at least $7 million per season, and he will certainly want term. It will be a tricky decision for Sharks management on whether or not they will want to give him that much money, given that their team may continue to struggle for at least another season or two. One thing that is for sure is that Hertl, who has put up 22 goals and 40 points in 2021-22, believes he is near the top when it comes to the league’s best centermen.

“I did a pretty good job the last couple of years proving I can be a top centerman in the league,” he said.

With the Sharks’ struggles as of late, they are now seven points shy of a wild-card position in the Western Conference, which may increase the chances of Hertl getting dealt ahead of the trade deadline. Whatever happens, the one guarantee is that he will receive a significant raise in the near future from his current contract, which carries an average annual value of $5.625 million.

Hill Gets Shut Down Temporarily

It has been a frustrating first season with the Sharks for Hill. The 25-year-old goaltender was expected to be the team’s number one goaltender after being acquired in a trade this offseason from the Arizona Coyotes, but that hasn’t been the case. Between some minor injuries and inconsistent play, he has appeared in just 24 games in 2021-22, posting a subpar 2.78 goals-against average along with a .901 save percentage. (from ‘Curtis Pashelka: Sharks’ Hill shut down with injury, causing concern as busy stretch looms’, Mercury News, 02/16/22).

Related: Sharks Need to Better Utilize Nick Bonino

The frustrations on the season are continuing for him, as the Sharks announced on Wednesday that he would be shut down for a few days due to a lower-body injury. He hasn’t played since Jan. 22 due to the ailment and obviously hasn’t gotten any healthier given this news. Expect to hear more about this situation in the coming days.

Kane Jeered in Return to San Jose

For the first time since having his contract terminated in early January, Kane returned to San Jose to face his old Sharks teammates as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Despite his on-ice success during his time with the organization, it appears his off-ice behaviour and reported conflict with teammates rubbed fans the wrong way, as they welcomed him with a chorus of boos during his opening shift.

Though Kane went pointless in the contest, he was able to get the last laugh, as he and his Oilers teammates walked away with a 3-0 win. He is performing quite well early on in his stint in Edmonton with four goals and eight points through nine games. Whether or not he is able to limit distractions office, however, remains to be seen.

Woodcroft Gets Shot at Head Coaching Gig

From 2008 to 2015, Woodcroft was an assistant coach for the Sharks, working with Todd McLellan. After the 2014-15 season, the Sharks chose to part ways with both McLellan and Woodcroft, and the two moved onto the Oilers.

While McLellan has since moved onto the Los Angeles Kings organization, Woodcroft has remained part of the Oilers’ system. He had been the head coach of their American Hockey League affiliate in the Bakersfield Condors, but he was named the Oilers’ new head coach last week after the firing of Dave Tippett. Things have been going quite well for him early on, as he is 4-0-0 to this point, with one of those wins coming against the Sharks on Monday.

Up Next for the Sharks

The Sharks have just one game remaining on their schedule for the week. That game will come on Sunday against the Vegas Golden Knights. They will need to start picking up wins in bunches here if they hope to get back into the playoff race.

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120

Latest News & Highlights