In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, speculation that Tomas Hertl will be moved ahead of the trade deadline is beginning to pick up more and more. In other news, Adin Hill, who has struggled in his first season with the Sharks, was assigned to the American Hockey League on Sunday, though his stay was very brief. Meanwhile, this team has been decimated by injuries lately, as Jake Middleton, Erik Karlsson, and James Reimer have all recently been banged up.
Hertl Could Soon Be Moved
In a piece published on Thursday, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff had Hertl listed in the top spot of the top 20 trade targets ahead of the 2022 trade deadline. The 28-year-old is off to a hot start this season, and despite the Sharks being in the hunt for a playoff spot, Seravalli believes he will be moved before the deadline.
“Hertl has emerged as the likely most in-demand player as we hurdle toward the deadline,” Seravalli wrote. “Herlt’s name has already been a big topic of conversation. Hertl is unsigned, having a fantastic season – he’s on pace for a career-high 39 goals and leads San Jose with 16 strikes – and would provide a significant return for the Sharks’ future. The Sharks have fallen out of the race over the last month, and their current playoff chances are looking slim (16%). One team to keep an eye on in the Hertl sweepstakes: the New York Rangers.”
While I believe the Sharks will move on from Hertl, they are currently just one point shy of the Edmonton Oilers for the final wild card position in the Western Conference. It wouldn’t be surprising to see management let this play out for another month or so and see where the team is then before pulling the trigger on a deal.
Hill Assigned to Barracuda
After spending time on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, Hill was assigned to the San Jose Barracuda for a conditioning assignment. The 25-year-old lost the only game he played during his brief AHL stint, though he played well, stopping 33 of 36 shots faced.
Hopefully, the solid game will give Hill some confidence for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. There were high hopes for him after being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes this offseason, but he has struggled to this point, posting a 2.91 goals-against average along with a subpar .901 save percentage in 18 games. They will need him to be better if they have any shot at a postseason berth.
Injuries Piling Up
Injuries have been amounting for the Sharks lately, as Karlsson, Middleton, and Reimer are all banged up and couldn’t play in Thursday night’s game versus the Buffalo Sabres. Both Middleton and Reimer sustained their injuries in Tuesday’s contest against the Detroit Red Wings. Middleton, who was placed on injured reserve, isn’t expected to return until early next week at the earliest, while Reimer is listed as day-to-day. (from Curtis Pashelka’ Injury woes mounting for San Jose Sharks as they try to remain in playoff chase’, The Reporter, 01/06/22).
Karlsson, who has had a nice bounce-back season for the Sharks with 22 points in 28 games, was dealing with an upper-body injury before Tuesday’s game versus the Red Wings but was able to play through it. That wasn’t the case on Thursday, but the good news is he isn’t expected to be sidelined much longer, if at all.
Next Up for Sharks
The Sharks have just one game remaining on their schedule this week, which will take place on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers. After that, they are off until Tuesday, where they will look to exact revenge against the Red Wings after this past week’s 6-2 loss.
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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.