In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, the Evander Kane talk isn’t over just yet as he and the Sharks appear to be heading toward a settlement. In other news, Timo Meier was not only picked to represent his team at the All-Star game, but he also recorded a monstrous five-goal game on Monday versus the L.A. Kings. Meanwhile, his teammate, Tomas Hertl, continues to be brought up in trade rumors, but may actually be instead considering a contract extension.
Sharks & Kane Headed to Settlement
Less than two weeks ago, the Sharks announced they were terminating Kane’s contract after disobeying COVID-19 guidelines. Shortly after he was placed on unconditional waivers, the NHLPA filed a grievance on his behalf, saying the remaining $23 million owed to him on his contract should be his.
In an article written by Chris Gear of Daily Faceoff, he says that he believes neither party would likely want to have an arbitrator decide on the matter, and would instead prefer to agree on a settlement. If that were to be the case, we likely wouldn’t ever learn on what exactly the settlement is, but it would finally put an end to Kane’s extremely rocky tenure with the Sharks.
Meier Has Five-Goal Outing
At the time of writing this article, the Sharks sit in the second wild card position in the Western Conference, a spot much greater than anyone had imagined prior to the 2021-22 season. A big reason for their success has been the play of Meier, who after two down seasons is living up to his true potential. Heading into Monday night’s game versus the Kings, he had an impressive 40 points in 34 games, and was able to improve on that total in a big way.
Meier put up a first period hat trick, and followed that up with two more in the second. In doing so, he became just the fifth player in the last 25 years to have a five-goal outing, and the first in Sharks history. It also resulted in a huge win for the Sharks against a team they are chasing in the standings in the Kings. Safe to say his all-star nod, which was announced last Thursday, was a well-earned one.
Hertl May Be Sticking Around
Since the beginning of the 2021-22 season, there has been plenty of speculation as to where the Sharks may look to deal Hertl. The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this season, as he is in the final year of a four-year, $22.5 million deal. Given his high talent level, paired with this season in which he has 20 goals and 35 points in 40 games, you can imagine there are plenty of suitors for him. Despite all the talk however, the Sharks may instead be looking to sign him to an extension.
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Sharks tried to reach an extension with Hertl this summer, but to no avail. Now that Kane’s contract is off the books however, they have more cap room and may be able to work on a new deal, something which LeBrun expects they will try and do.
“Certainly, there may be some room here for the Sharks to make an extension offer for their top centre, Tomas Hertl, who is a UFA at the end of the season,” LeBrun said. “There were talks last summer and Hertl’s camp, led by Newport Sports, said that the Sharks were interested in talking extension at the time. But now that there might be more open cap room, I expect the Sharks to circle back over the next month here and perhaps make an offer to Hertl.
“If that does not lead to an extension, the trade deadline is March 21, and there may not be a bigger name on the Trade Bait Board than Tomas Hertl if he is officially made available between now and March 21.”
This will be exciting news for Sharks fans, as Hertl, who has been with the team for nine seasons now, is a fan favorite in San Jose. Though there is a very valid argument to be made that trading him for young prospects and/or draft picks may be the better idea for this organization in the long-term, it would also say a lot about the state of the franchise if he did indeed choose to sign an extension. This talk will continue until either a trade is made or a new deal is agreed upon.
Up Next for the Sharks
The Sharks will be back in action Thursday night when they take on the Seattle Kraken, in what is a winnable game against a team that has really struggled as of late. Their following game on Saturday won’t be as much of an easy task however, as they are taking on the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champs in the Tampa Bay Lightning. It certainly won’t be an easy game, but this team has shown their resiliency all season long and you can bet they will bring out their best effort for it.
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.