in this issue San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, Team Terminates Contract Evander Kane Violating COVID-19 protocols on Sunday. Meanwhile, rumours about Thomas Hertle’s future continue to circulate. In other news, Alexander Barabanov has been placed on the NHL’s list of COVID-19 protocols.
Kane’s contract terminated
There’s been a ton of drama around the Sharks over the past year, much of it from Kane’s antics.After being suspended by the NHL for 21 games at the start of the 2021-22 season for violating COVID-19 protocols, he was assigned to the San Jose Barracudas of the American Hockey League (AHL), but ended up playing only five games as the organization announced last week that he would exempted unconditionally to terminate his contract.
The reason behind this is due to another COVID breach. The NHLPA has since filed a complaint on Kane’s behalf, but nothing has come of it yet. Assuming the decision holds, the Sharks will be off the hook for the final three years of his contract, which has an average annual value of $7 million.
One would think that, given all the drama of Kane’s past year, the team would want to stay away.However, that doesn’t appear to be the case, with several teams reportedly contacting his agent, the Edmonton Oilers are currently Listed as a frontrunner. From a hockey perspective, it makes sense considering Kane had 49 points in 56 games last season, but because of his behavior on the ice, he’s proven time and time again that he’s a liability rather than assets.
Hertle’s future uncertain
There has been much speculation about Hertel’s future since the start of the 2021-22 season. The 28-year-old is in the final year of a four-year, $22.5 million contract capped at $5.625 million. Based on his comments, he seemed willing to stay with the Sharks beyond the season, but many thought the team would move him.
in an article Written by Adam Proteau of Hockey News, he discusses the very real reality that despite Hertl’s comments about wanting to stay with the Sharks, it may be more of a lip service than anything else. In fact, the Sharks’ roster is quite old, and as such will likely continue to struggle for the next few seasons. Hertl is already arguably the team’s top attacking player with 20 goals in 37 games this season, and will rely more on him as players such as Logan Couture, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson age. Being able to join a contender at the deadline and sign with a more competitive team in the summer is probably too much to pass up.
Barabanov joins COVID protocol
The Sharks have been struggling to stay healthy lately and announced Wednesday Barabanov is placed at NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol ListIt’s been a rough ride for the 27-year-old, who is having a breakout season with 20 points in 32 games. Going into the 2021-22 season, he has only played in 16 NHL professional games.
Barabanov joins Nick Bonino as the only other shark on the list of COVID protocols, though the team is still far from healthy. They currently have players such as Kevin Labanke, Jack Middleton, James Reimer, Radim Simek, Nikola Knizov and Jonah Gadejovic, who Currently dealing with injuries. Hopefully some of them will be available for Thursday night’s game, but that remains to be seen.
next step for sharks
The Sharks have two games left this week, both facing tough opponents. Game 1 will be against the New York Rangers on Thursday, while Game 2 will be against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. It’s a big game for the Sharks, currently No. 2 in the Western Conference. There is little room for error now, as the Calgary Flames are just one point behind them with four games to go.
Colton Pankiw is a former hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He has been a very active and reliable source for The Hockey Writers for almost two years. He is a senior writer for the Calgary Flames, but also plays for other teams in the league. Other writing contributions include: white oil, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oil workers work overtime and flame confrontation podcast.Any interview requests or content information can be Twitter. Check out his work here.