Sharks

NHL rumors: Erik Karlsson taking long, hard look at staying with Sharks

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USATSI

NHL rumors: Erik Karlsson taking long, hard look at staying with Sharks

A little over a week ago, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson posted a 'thank you' message directed at Sharks fans.

Most speculated that the tweet was a signal he would leave San Jose in free agency this summer.

Not so fast.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman dropped this nugget during the second intermission of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final:

"The word is that Erik Karlsson is taking a long, hard look at deciding if he wants to stay in San Jose. And I think we're going to know in about a week if he's going to stay or if he's going to investigate his other free agency options. He wants to win. The Sharks are perennially in it. They've made a good impression on him.

"I think we're going to know in about a week if it's San Jose or free agency."

It might be a good sign for the Sharks that Karlsson spent Saturday with teammate Marcus Sorensen watching the Liverpool-Tottenham Champions League final, though the location of their hangout is not known.

According to Sportsnet, Karlsson is expected to be the most coveted free agent on the market on July 1, and reportedly is expected to be pursued by the New York Rangers.

In his first season with the Sharks, Karlsson battled injuries and appeared in just 53 games, but still managed to rack up 43 assists. Karlsson found the net just three times.

[RELATED: Maple Leafs, LA Kings talking Marleau trade]

If the Sharks can keep Karlsson in the fold, it will go a long way to helping them get past the Western Conference Final.

Why Sharks’ Tomas Hertl wasn't even 2020 NHL All-Star Game MVP finalist

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AP

Why Sharks’ Tomas Hertl wasn't even 2020 NHL All-Star Game MVP finalist

Tomas Hertl put on a show for the fans during the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis on Saturday night, but he won't be bringing the game's MVP award back with him to San Jose.

That's in large part because the Sharks center wasn't even one of the four finalists for the award.

A few minutes before Hertl scored the game-winning goal for the Pacific Division, the NHL posted a poll question on Twitter asking who the MVP of the game should be.

Keep in mind that the game was tied 4-4 at the time of the poll question. Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl, Ottawa's Anthony Duclair, Boston's David Pastrnak and Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk were the four players nominated for the award.

Hertl's game-winner was his fifth goal of the night, which led all scorers. In the Pacific Division's semifinal win over the Central Division, Hertl netted four goals, including the final three of that game.

Pastrnak won the award with 36 percent of the vote, but we're guessing Hertl would have gotten a higher percentage had he been a finalist.

After the night's festivities were over, Hertl met with the media in the dressing room and was asked if he was disappointed he didn't win All-Star Game MVP.

"No," Hertl said. "I think [Sharks assistant coach] Mike Ricci was the first one to text me that hopefully I got for him a new car, but it's all good. I'm happy we won and we won the prize, so it's exciting."

[RELATED: Hertl brings fun to skills competition]

The 11 Pacific Division players will split the $1 million prize money for winning the tournament. Before taxes, each player will take home $90,909.

If Hertl was at all privately bummed he didn't win MVP, that check he's going home with will make him feel a lot better.

Watch Sharks' Tomas Hertl score 2020 NHL All-Star Game-winning goal

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USATSI

Watch Sharks' Tomas Hertl score 2020 NHL All-Star Game-winning goal

Tomas Hertl was pretty quiet for a majority of the NHL All-Star Game Final.

But with 2:36 remaining in the final period, Hertl gave the Pacific Division a 5-4 lead with a breakaway goal.

The Pacific would hang on to beat the Atlantic Division by that same score, taking home the $1 million dollar prize.

The goal was Hertl's only marker of the All-Star Game Final, but his fifth of the night as he scored four in the semifinal game.

Despite Hertl's gaudy numbers and game-winning goal, he didn't take home the All-Star Game MVP. That went to the Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak.

Hertl will receive a hero's welcome when he returns to San Jose on Sunday. The Sharks open the second half of the season at home Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Hopefully for the Sharks, Hertl can carry the momentum into the final few months of the season.