In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, Evander Kane has been left off the team’s roster due to pending investigations on him. Meanwhile, his teammate in Tomas Hertl remains on the Sharks but may not be for much longer, as he’s atop TSN’s Trade Board. Speaking of trades, it was recently confirmed that general manager Doug Wilson was interested in acquiring Sam Reinhart from the Buffalo Sabres this offseason, though the Florida Panthers ended up paying more to get him. Wilson did make a recent roster move, however, claiming Jonah Gadjovich off of waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.
Kane Left off Opening Night Roster
Due to the NHL investigating Kane for both sexual and physical abuse claims, as well as allegedly violating COVID-19 protocols, the Sharks chose to leave him off their roster for opening night of the 2021-22 season. The decision to keep him off their roster is one that likely won’t change soon given the magnitude of the current allegations facing him, on top of several other negative stories that surrounded him this offseason.
Kane, 30, is arguably the Sharks’ best player. In 2020-21, he led his team in scoring with 49 points in 56 games. Unfortunately, his off-ice issues overshadow his great playing abilities, and have his future as a Shark in serious jeopardy.
Hertl Listed on TSN Trade Board
In the last few months, Hertl is a name who has been popping up in trade rumors due to both the fact that he was reportedly unhappy with the Sharks organization, as well as him being in the final season of his contract. Those rumors died down recently, however, as he told media that he was focused on being a great leader this season in San Jose and seemed to hint at the possibility of taking a discount to stay with them moving forward.
But those trade rumors have resurfaced in recent days, as TSN put out an article listing him, along with Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel, as two likely trade candidates to watch for this season.
“Tomas Hertl would be a big name, and it’s pretty rare for a centre of that caliber to move in season,” insider Pierre LeBrun said. “What’s going on is that he’s entering the final year of his contract where he’ll be an unrestricted free agent on July 13. The Sharks would have loved to have extended him this past summer, but my sense was Hertl just wasn’t ready to enter that type of conversation. So where does this go? If the Sharks are out of a playoff spot come March 21 trade deadline and Hertl doesn’t have a change of heart, I think that’s a guy that could be in play. A lot of teams are keeping an eye on that.”
If Hertl is indeed available, there will be a lot of teams inquiring about his services. The highly skilled forward played in 50 games last season, scoring 19 goals and 43 points.
Sharks Tried to Acquire Reinhart This Summer
One of the bigger trades this past offseason came when the Panthers traded a 2022 first-round pick and prospect Devon Levi to the Sabres in exchange for Reinhart. At the time of the trade, it was well known that Reinhart was on the trading block, though not all of the interested parties were known. According to Elliotte Friedman, the Sharks were a team that showed interest.
“I’m always intrigued and in a lot of ways impressed with Doug Wilson, in that he puts together an environment where the team is always going for it,” Friedman said on The Jeff Marek Show last week. “It doesn’t always work out but generally it’s usually a competitive team. Even this past off-season, I’m of the belief that they were in on Sam Reinhart before he ended up eventually going to Florida.”
It would be interesting to learn exactly what Wilson put out as an offer for Reinhart, given that this current roster isn’t constructed to win right now. Regardless, acquiring a player of that skill level would have given this fan base reason for optimism heading into 2021-22. The 25-year-old, who recorded a career-high 65 points in 2018-19, could be in for a massive season now that he has parted from a struggling Sabres team.
Gadjovich Claimed by Sharks
Wilson chose to add to the Sharks forward depth this past week, claiming Gadjovich off of waivers from the Canucks. The 23-year-old, who was a second-round pick (55th overall) in 2017, played in his first NHL game last season, but was held off the scoresheet. He also appeared in 19 American Hockey League games with the Utica Comets, where he really popped off, scoring a ridiculous 15 goals and 18 points.
Unfortunately, Gadjovich hasn’t been able to get to San Jose yet due to an immigration issue. Sharks coach Bob Boughner told media yesterday that they are hoping to see him before Saturday, but it remains unknown at this point. Regardless, it seems likely he will get at least some NHL games in 2021-22, and has a chance to spend the entire season on the Sharks roster.
Coming up for the Sharks
The Sharks still have a few days to prepare for both their season and home opener, which will take place on Oct. 16 versus the Winnipeg Jets. They will then get ready for three games next week against the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. A great start could go a long way in them finding themselves in the playoff hunt down the stretch of the 2021-22 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: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, 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.