- Editor's note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California's Sharks coverage for the 2021-22 season. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng.
The status of impending UFA Tomas Hertl – will he stay with the San Jose Sharks or choose greener pastures? – is a league-wide domino as the Trade Deadline fast approaches. Maybe the domino. Where Hertl goes will set the market.
Not surprising, it should also set the market in San Jose.
Hertl’s linemate Alexander Barabanov is also a pending UFA. In his first full NHL season, the 27-year-old KHL veteran has been a revelation, notching eight goals and 19 assists in 48 games.
So are the San Jose Sharks hoping for a Hertl-Barabanov partnership in the years to come?
A source tells San Jose Hockey Now that re-signing Hertl is the organization’s priority right now. They’re not negotiating concurrently with Barabanov.
Let’s say Hertl comes back. Is Barabanov next?
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I’m told that Barabanov’s camp is optimistic that the Sharks will make an offer.