NHL Rumors Roundup: Tomas Hertl, Pavel Zacha, Canadiens, and Avalanche

tomas hertl
Jan 8, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) celebrates his second goal during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. He would score his third goal for the hat trick and the game-winner in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks and Tomas Hertl appear to be on the same page with regards to getting together and continuing their relationship.

With the NHL Trade Deadline about five weeks away, Hertl is a pending UFA that the Sharks may opt to move if an extension isn’t close. Still, the talk coming from both sides indicates they can find common ground.

NHL Rumors: Tomas Hertl

Yesterday, Hertl went on the record about his current mindset on his contract.

“If we make a deal here, it will be fair for both sides,” Hertl said via the Mercury News. “This is still my home and (I’m) fighting, (giving) everything I have for this team and we will see what happens in a couple of weeks.”

Hertl is 28 years-old and in the final year of a deal that has a $5.625M cap hit. This season, he’s recorded 38 points in 46 contests.

“I always kind of want to stay here in my mind because it’s my home, but like the first season, you’ll always want to win,” Hertl said. “I just told my agent that his job is to manage it and when he has more info to come to me. I want to just play hockey and do everything that I can right now for the team.”

Acting Sharks GM Joe Will echoed similar sentiments last week.

In a potentially significant development, San Jose acting GM Joe Will told local reporters that conversations with Tomas Hertl and agent Craig Oster have both sides believing the player wants to stay. “So now it’s about finding a way to have that happen,” Will said. “He’s a player that we want as part of our team and we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen.” Will also wouldn’t commit to what could happen if Hertl reaches the deadline unsigned.

Sportsnet

The prevailing thought is that both sides will work a fair deal out before the deadline.

Canucks interested in Pavel Zacha

pavel zacha
Jan 22, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) scores a goal against Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Jack LaFontaine (80) during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks may be interested in trying to acquire New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha per Jeff Marek.

“The Vancouver Canucks have interest in, or at least curious about is Pavel Zacha,” Marek said. “He is an impending RFA, but he’s one year away from becoming a UFA. He can take his qualifying offer and walk after a year.”

Zacha, 24, has 22 points in 45 games this season. His current cap hit is $2.25 Million.

The Devils are loaded down the middle with Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Dawson Mercer leaving Marek to wonder where Zacha fits going forward. He added that other teams are calling on Zacha as well.

Canadiens may move Ben Chiarot sooner

canadiens
Nov 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Ryan Reaves (75) and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot (8) collide during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

New GM Kent Hughes has been forthcoming that he’s spoken to every single player that has come up in trade rumors. This was done to also get their thoughts on the current situation and to see what they wanted for their futures.

“I would say we’re viewing it as we’re open to everything,’’ Hughes said. “We don’t feel this immediate need to get everything done at the trade deadline.”

Names in play in Montreal are as follows:

  • Ben Chiarot (D – UFA)
  • Jeff Petry (D)
  • Tyler Toffoli (F)
  • Brendan Gallagher (F)
  • Jonathan Drouin (F)
  • Mike Hoffman (F)
  • Artturi Lehkonen (F – RFA)

As for Chiarot, he left yesterday’s game with an apparent injury sparking some talk that the Habs may move him sooner rather than later.

“Anytime you have a player with as much interest as Chiarot has you worry about (injury),” Elliotte Friedman said. “Among the interested teams are St. Louis, Carolina, the Rangers, Florida, Los Angels and Calgary.”

Chiarot, 30, has 9 points in 44 games.

Avalanche and Claude Giroux

According to Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater, the Philadelphia Flyers have been heavily scouting the Avalanche and their AHL farm team.

This is fueling speculation of a rumored deal between the Avs and the Flyers for pending UFA Claude Giroux.

“What’s one team in every trade rumor? Colorado,” Friedman said on a recent podcast. “Colorado could use a right-handed shot. The biggest challenge I have with that is can you make the math work. If Claude Giroux wants to chase a Stanley Cup, that the team you go to.”

Giroux, 34, is in the final year of a contract that comes with a $8.275M cap hit. He has 36 points in 43 games. The expectation is that the Flyers would retain 50% of the cap hit to make the trade work and for a sweeter package.

“Claude and I will be spending time together within the next few weeks exploring his best options while having discussions with Chuck,” agent Pat Brisson told Pierre LeBrun.

The expectation is that Giroux will be traded by the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21.