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Questions Facing The San Jose Sharks

from John Lane of NHL.com,

Could Tomas Hertl be traded before the season ends?

The 27-year-old forward is in the final season of a four-year contract, and how the Sharks perform could influence what they do with him ahead of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. San Jose has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons after qualifying in 14 of the previous 15, so if the rebuild continues, the Sharks could try to trade Hertl rather than risk losing him for nothing as a free agent.

"I wonder if San Jose will want to re-sign me and if I'll want to stay there," Hertl told MF DNES in the Czech Republic on Sept. 3. "I don't want to have it in my head, I don't want to be influenced by anything like that. I will start the season and let's see how it works out. If I change teams, I'll be looking at places where there is a chance to win. The other thing is if those teams would want me. It's complicated, but who knows? Maybe San Jose has a plan and I don't fit into it for them."

Hertl scored 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) in 50 games last season after recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. He had surgery to repair damaged ligaments in his right knee as a rookie in 2013-14, injured that knee again in Game 2 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins and missed the rest of the series, and had surgery for a sprain in his right knee during the 2016-17 season.

Can Adin Hill and James Reimer upgrade the goaltending?

Hill was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes for goalie Josef Korenar on July 14 and agreed to a two-year contract Aug. 4 to avoid an arbitration hearing. He was 9-9-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and two shutouts in an NHL career-high 19 games (17 starts) last season. Reimer signed a two-year contract with the Sharks on July 28 after he was 15-5-2 with a 2.66 GAA and .906 save percentage in 22 games (21 starts) with the Carolina Hurricanes last season.

The hope is Hill and Reimer can come in and stabilize the position after Martin Jones had the final three seasons of his six-year contract bought out by San Jose, which has finished either 30th or 31st in the NHL in team save percentage in each of the past three seasons.

"We're looking forward to both these guys coming in and strengthening that position," coach Bob Boughner said July 28. "If you look back last year at some of the games we played and thought we could have won, a change in goaltending was a need, and I think that both guys are going to come in and help."

three more questions...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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