Erik Karlsson injury: No update on Sharks star before Game 5 vs. Blues


Erik Karlsson injury: No update on Sharks star before Game 5 vs. Blues

The Sharks again are dealing with an Erik Karlsson injury scare. This time, however, it comes in the Western Conference final, with their season potentially on the line.

Karlsson spent the majority of the third period on the bench Friday night as the Sharks fell to the Blues 2-1 in Game 4. San Jose's star defenseman was in obvious discomfort during the period when he was on the ice.

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer didn't provide an update after the loss, and didn't have any new information Saturday. For now, though, Karlsson's teammates are acting like he'll be on the ice Sunday at SAP Center, with the best-of-seven series tied at two apiece.

"We’re focused as if he’s playing. Only Erik knows how he’s feeling," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic told the media Saturday, via the Mercury News.

Karlsson clearly had a target on his back in Game 4. He was hit four times, and he has been hit 15 times in the series. 

[RELATED: Karlsson's absence could have drastic impact on Sharks]

Fatigue certainly can be a factor, too. Through the first four games of the series, Karlsson has averaged just over 25 minutes of ice time. That places him second on the Sharks, behind only Brent Burns. 

Karlsson missed 27 of the Sharks' final 33 regular-season games with various injuries. He's played in every playoff game so far, though, and the Sharks certainly will need him in Game 5.

How NHL's potential new labor deal could affect Sharks’ offseason plan

How NHL's potential new labor deal could affect Sharks’ offseason plan

The Sharks could be operating under a new NHL collective bargaining agreement soon, and it might have quite an impact on the franchise's future.

The NHL and the NHL Players Association are nearing an agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding for a new six-year labor deal that includes guidelines for the return of the 2019-20 season, TSN's Frank Seravalli reported Saturday.

The MOU must be ratified by both sides before it becomes official, but the potential deal includes some notes that surely will affect the Sharks this offseason.

For starters, it appears the league's salary cap will be frozen at $81.5 million, and remain there until the NHL's hockey-related revenue gets back to $4.8 billion, which was the initial projection for this season before the coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension of operations on March 12.

[RELATED: NHL expansion draft: Who Sharks might be forced to leave unprotected]

San Jose ended the season with around $648,000 (per in available space, and with contracts expiring for players such as Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson and Aaron Dell, a frozen salary cap could make re-signing those the team wants to bring back difficult.

Seravalli also noted that minimum contracts will rise $50,000 for next season, increasing to $750,000. It will stay there for four years, before rising to $775,000 in 2024-25, and $800,000 in 2025-26. So, young Sharks players such as Dylan Gambrell and Stefan Noesen, who played on minimum contracts, now are in line for raises of at least $50,000 going into next season.

The Sharks will look to turn things around entering the first full season of this potential new CBA, as they just finished last in the Pacific Division with just 63 points. But it appears the new labor deal might complicate San Jose's plan in some aspects.

Sharks' Tomas Hertl, wife Aneta expecting first child due in November

Sharks' Tomas Hertl, wife Aneta expecting first child due in November

I think we’re all due for some good news. So is Sharks’ All-Star center Tomas Hertl and his wife Aneta.

Aneta announced on her Instagram account the two are expecting a baby in November.

The first photo is the two of them posing together with the sonogram picture. The second is of a baby onesie with “Born in 2020” embroidered on it.

This is fresh off the couple's one-year wedding anniversary which, rumor has it, the big day was quite a fun time.

Back in May, Hertl spoke to the media about his rehab after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee where he vowed he would be better than he was before. But he’ll have to wait.

[RELATED: Ranking Sharks top playoff moments in overtime]

The Sharks will not be participating in the NHL’s a modified 24-team return-to-play format.

That’s OK though, he has something even better to look forward to … a baby Shark.