NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2022
Could terminating Evander Kane’s contract enable the Sharks to re-sign Tomas Hertl? If not, could the Rangers be interested in him? Does Kane have a new contract with the Oilers? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WILL THE SHARKS SIGN OR TRADE HERTL?
TSN: Pierre LeBrun speculated the Sharks might have sufficient salary-cap space from terminating Evander Kane’s contract to re-sign pending free agent Tomas Hertl depending on the outcome of the NHLPA’s grievance filed on Kane’s behalf. He expects they’ll revisit their contract discussions from last summer and perhaps make an offer to Hertl.
If the two sides fail to reach an agreement on an extension, LeBrun believes Hertl could become the biggest name in the trade market if the Sharks make him available before the March trade deadline. The 28-year-old center carries a three-team trade list. LeBrun believes the New York Rangers are a team to keep an eye on as he thinks they have Hertl on their list of trade targets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl will undoubtedly draw lots of interest if the Sharks put him on the trade block. I don’t doubt the Rangers would be at the head of the pack. They’re jockeying for first place in the Eastern Conference and carry plenty of cap space and promising prospects to make a competitive bid.
However, the Sharks could be reluctant to move Hertl if they’re still in the playoff chase. They’re currently clinging to the final wildcard berth in the Western Conference. It’s been three years since they last appeared in the playoffs and ownership could be keen to tap into that postseason revenue.
HAS EVANDER KANE ALREADY SIGNED WITH THE OILERS?
Kane is under investigation by the NHL for potentially violating AHL COVID protocols. It was one of the reasons cited by the San Jose Sharks for terminating his contract last Sunday. Simpson said Kane technically needs to be under contract before any suspension should kick in.
“The other issue the Oilers run into. You won’t register the contract now, and then find out he’s suspended the rest of the year, “ wrote Simpson. “That would be money and cap space that is totally wasted. Curious how long the league investigation will take?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simpson’s colleagues Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Chris Johnston made no mention of this during last night’s “Insider Trading” segment. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Johnston said Kane could technically sign with another NHL team today but he believes Kane’s going to wait out of respect for the teams interested in signing him who want to see await the outcome of the league’s investigation.