NHL Rumor Mill – September 13, 2021

by | Sep 13, 2021 | Rumors | 27 comments

What asking price could the Sharks set for Tomas Hertl? Could the Predators consider shopping Filip Forsberg? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked what potential return the San Jose Sharks could get if they traded Tomas Hertl. The 28-year-old center is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and recently expressed uncertainty over his future in San Jose.

San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (NHL Images).

Kurz speculates the Sharks would want a first-round pick as part of the return. He also believes they’ll have to get a high-end prospect, “preferably someone who could play NHL games ahead of or along the same timeline” as Sharks prospects like William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau. That player could be a center but the declining stock of Ryan Merkley and Brent Burns’ advancing age could make a defenseman just as welcome.

Hertl has a three-team trade list. If he gets traded it could be in part because he believes the Sharks are several years away from Stanley Cup contention. Kurz also feels the Sharks will allow his agent to facilitate a trade somewhere he wants to go if he wants out.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl as a trade option for the Bruins if Charlie Coyle struggles to replace David Krejci as their second-line center. He proposed offering up a first-rounder and Jack Studnicka if the Sharks center becomes available.

Signing Hertl to a contract extension could be difficult as he’ll seek a big raise over his current annual average value of $5.625 million. The Bruins could try moving Coyle ($5.25 million) or Jake DeBrusk and/or John Moore to make the dollars work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl is well-respected around the league as a versatile and skillful two-way forward despite a history of knee injuries. He’ll attract plenty of interest if he and the Sharks decide to part company before the March trade deadline. The Bruins could be among the suitors if Coyle can’t get the job done centering their second line.

Giving up a first and a promising young player is a lot to pay for someone who could turn out to be a rental player unless there’s a certainty he’ll re-sign with his new club. A team would have to be a Cup contender or close to it to sacrifice pieces of their future in that way.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter suggests Nashville Predators general manager David Poile should give consideration to trading Filip Forsberg this season. The 27-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA next summer.

Porter points out Forsberg carries a “reasonably price” $6 million AAV and lacks no-trade protection. With the Predators “lacking oomph on the roster” and shipping out veterans like Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson, they might think about peddling him for “exciting prospects and younger NHLers who have yet to peak.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg could become a trade candidate later this season if the Predators are out of contention by the trade deadline. It could cost over $8 million annually to get him under contract but they’re already carrying two $8 million forwards in Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene. Forsberg also might not wish to be part of a rebuild if that’s where Poile is going with the roster. If the Predators are playoff contenders this season, however, Poile could be reluctant to move him.


  1. It won’t be easy for the Bruins to fit Hertl in with their limited cap space. Especially since he’ll be seeking at least $8m. AAV on his next contract. They’d have to dump serious salary, not just Debrusk. Coyle won’t be easy to trade, as his cap hit of 5.25m. for 5 years is very high for what he brings. Plus he has a 10 team no trade clause.

  2. Hertl could be a deadline acquisition as the cap hit would be significantly less; as such, much easier to add.

    As far as extending him if acquired, Boston would have to move out significant amount of dollars as Charlie Mac is going to be looking to be the highest paid Bruin and Boston will have to resign Bergeron but i believe he’ll be taking a hair cut.

    • For Boston sake I hope so but I think it’s interesting he is not talking contract this season. He’s been underpaid for years. He might insist on market value.

  3. San Jose needs draft picks, they only have 7 in the upcoming draft and two of them are in the 7th round.

    Hertl might be had for a like cap it player and draft picks.?

    • Hertl to WSH for Kuznetsov ($1m held)

      that work for both clubs?

      • It all depends on if Wilson wants to rebuild, if not it actually makes some sense

      • Only if Hertl resign with the Caps.

        Kane and Kuznetsov would be entertaining in a locker room…

      • @kent
        a line of Mantha/Hertl/Oshie appeals to me.

      • Sharks already have enough problems. No thanks to Kutzisnutsoff.

      • San Jose has enough high salaried underachievers on the downside of their careers without picking up Kuznetsov.

  4. Hertl would be an upgrade over Drouin in MTL even with the injury history. Salaries are same, Habs would have to throw in a prospect and a pick to make it work. The way Habs draft leads me to believe they need a better head of scouting, because Bergie usually makes the trade work. Can’t see this happening though. Ah well, we’ll just have to wait until trade deadline to dump Drouin unless he has a spectacular rebound and finally lives up to the hype of his draft year.

    • HabsAndy,

      Drouin gets dumped on a lot in Montreal but if you look at Hertl stats, he had one big year a few years ago and if you pullout that one year, Drouin’s PPG is a bit higher than Hertl’s.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Bergevin swung back to Wilson to talk again about a trade involving Hertl for Drouin plus.

      Bergevin is on better ground now that Dvorak has been signed, Wilson might be more amenable regarding the draft pick or prospect
      The plus might be a 2nd or prospect like Poehling, Mysak

      • I don’t see Hertl coming to Montreal. Maybe they could fit in his cap hit as a rental, as long as Drouin goes the other way, but I don’t see that happening. Wilson would want a younger, lower salaried and productive player as well as prospects and picks. I don’t see Bergevin giving that up for a rental. With Dvorak signed for 4 years and with Suzuki hopefully due a huge raise next year, I don’t see how the Habs have cap room for Hertl, whose next deal will likely be in the $8m. range.

  5. Hertl will be turning 28 in November, which means 29 when he starts next deal. His numbers last year project well over 82 games, but other than the 1 full season he went over 70 points, he wasn’t a 8 mil per player. If he’s going to get paid, he needs to stay healthy and put up some numbers this season.

    • Rangers should be able to fit Hertl. They have a surplus of young defencemen and their first rounder will not likely be too high. Can always throw in a later pick if need be. Sign Mika. I’d rather Hertl than Eichel and his question marks.

  6. I think everyone (and rightly so) is looking at the Eichel thing from the question marks perspective.
    What is he worth – with no questions. No attitude. You get the man, healthy an in a new spot ready to work. What’s he worth then? Because when he returns to that. Or if. The price will skyrocket. So…buy low…sell high…..

    • Aye… That’s the risk. A healthy, motivated Jack Eichel is probably worth the asking price. But is he? Will he be? And at what cost? Hence question marks…

      • Simply stating he’ll be turning 29 at start of season. You really going to nitpick over a month? 29 with knee issues.

  7. “Hertl will be turning 28 in November, which means 29 when he starts next deal.”

    His next contract isn’t going to start until November 2022?

  8. Tomas Hertl……Is someone the Penguins should make a major push for this year or at the deadline.

    With Malkin & Letang’s contracts expiring after this season next year Hertl is a perfect fit to slide in behind Sidney Crosby.

    We offer Jason Zucker & Casey De Smith and a number two draft pick. This gives San Jose a top 6 winger, a 6 time twenty goal scorer and much needed speed to their line up.

    Casey De Smith is a good cheap quality NHL back up and has ben good for the Penguins when called upon…..better than what they have..

    Plus a second round pick.

    Malkin isn’t getting and extension at $9.5 million
    Letang isn’t getting an extension at $7.5 million

    Both must take team friendly deals to finish their careers as Penguins…

    Whether they walk or take team friendly deals say $ 6 million each for 2 seasons still frees money for Hertl..
    Pengy —————Thoughts??

    • Many teams beat that offer. Desmith is an ufa after this year. Zucker only 1 year left. It’s certain a 1st is offered by someone even as a rental.

      • Then you can add a first round pick instead of a second.

    • ..Notwithstanding after DeSmith the Penguins next best option for backup is Domingue, then Alex D’Orio… San Jose already has Hill and Reimer, DeSmith would be fine insurance as a 3rd, don’t get me wrong, but Pitt can’t afford to trade him unless they replace him with something better or equal.

  9. Hertl would be a great second choice but the bruins need to stick with their first choice

    • Deflating the pucks?

      • …a bit of a cheap shot but it made me snicker regardless. Not all Boston area teams are cheaters, Chrisms.

  10. Why is it all juicy potential UFA’s (Hertl-etc) going to Boston? Rangers? Habs?

    And, as always, all Pens fans daily dying to dump Zucker. All Pens fans. Cray-Cray.