In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, general manager Doug Wilson said that despite the recent trade rumors surrounding Tomas Hertl, he hopes to keep him in the organization long-term. The investigation into Evander Kane has been slowed down, making it unclear if a decision will be made before training camp. Meanwhile, it is now confirmed that Marcus Sorensen will not return to the Sharks next season. He signed a deal with Djugardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). There were also a few other contracts issues last week, including Noah Gregor, who re-signed, and Vladislav Kotkov whose contract was terminated.
Hoping to Keep Hertl Around
Much has been said about Hertl’s future with the Sharks after reports surfaced that the 27-year-old was unhappy in San Jose and did not like that the team failed to discipline his controversial teammate Evander Kane during the 2020-21 season. He has one year remaining on his contract, so many expected this meant the Sharks would trade him before or during the 2021-22 season, but Wilson said he doesn’t plan to.
According to Elliotte Friedman, Wilson has told interested teams that his goal is to make things work with Hertl and that they plan on discussing everything with the Czech forward when camp opens. The Sharks are expected to struggle not only this season but likely for some time moving forward, which could be a factor in Hertl’s decision. In 50 games last season, he scored 19 goals and 43 points.
Kane Investigation Slowed Down
After Kane’s estranged wife, Anna, accused him publicly of betting on his own games in 2020-21, the league launched an investigation. These were damning allegations for many reasons, yet they were not as surprising as they should have been given Kane’s reported gambling problems that forced him to declare bankruptcy before last season.
However, the investigation into Kane’s behavior has slowed down because authorities have been unable to get in contact with Anna. Kane has said throughout the process that he will cooperate with the league and, as of now, may be able to join the Sharks for training camp. While the timeline has been pushed back, the NHL does plan on finishing the investigation.
“I’m not sure I can provide a definitive timeline at this point,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email last week. “But we still intend to complete the investigation.”
Sorensen Explains Leaving the NHL
The Sharks will be without Sorensen for the first time in years, as the 29-year-old officially confirmed on Saturday that he has signed a four-year deal with Djurgarden in the SHL. While it makes sense that he wants to return home, he gave an interesting answer for what led to his decision:
“Because I wanted to have fun again, feel the joy of hockey and that the family can move home and have some security,” Sorensen said.
Despite reportedly receiving offers from the NHL, KHL, and Switzerland, Sorensen chose to return to his native country. If this is the last we have seen from him in the NHL, he finishes his career with 31 goals and 64 points in 226 games. He managed just one goal and five points in 29 games last season.
Sharks Re-Sign Gregor, Terminate Kotkov
The Sharks announced on Monday that they have re-signed Gregor to a one-year contract, which according to CapFriendly, will pay him $750,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level. The 23-year-old has proven that he can put up big numbers in the minors but has yet to do so with the big club. He appeared in 30 games with the Sharks last season, scoring five goals and six points. At 23 years old, this may be his last chance to prove himself.
On Sept. 11, the Sharks placed forward prospect Vladislav Kotkov on unconditional waivers for the purposes of terminating his contract. This move is somewhat surprising given that he still had two years remaining on his deal, though there may have been a contract offer waiting for him back home in Russia. The 21-year-old suited up for 16 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, scoring nine goals and 19 points.
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.