Sharks

Sharks' Evander Kane pushing NHL players to show more personality

Sharks' Evander Kane pushing NHL players to show more personality

The NHL is an old-school sports league.

Injuries aren't fully disclosed, and players don't usually draw attention to themselves off the ice.

Personality isn't on display in the NHL like it is in the NBA, a league that thrives on off-the-court drama and comments. 

But Sharks forward Evander Kane is pushing for that to change in his sport, and he's already seeing some positive movement.

"I think it's important," Kane said while taking part in the NHL Player Gaming Challenge. "I think the reason we're starting to understand the importance of it is because we're seeing other leagues and other players do it a lot more, and the success that's transpiring in those leagues with engaging with their fans and showing that personality, so I think it's a great way to promote the game and get our faces out there a little bit more because at the end of the day, that's what sells the game of hockey, is the players.

"And you look at any other sport, it's no different. So for us, I think it's great we're starting that process of wanting to showcase our personality because at the end of the day, it's also up to us as players to want to do things like this and be part of different events and causes outside of hockey, so I think it's great."

Kane made the comment while playing Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler in EA Sports NHL 20 on Saturday.

Kane's 11th NHL season is on hold while the world deals with the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

[RELATED: Kane's favorite way to score goal]

When the NHL does return, they likely won't have trouble attracting fans because everyone misses sports so much.

But Kane is right. The NHL is an incredibly fun sport to watch, and a good way to draw new fans is by showing off the personalities of the sport's stars.

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Tomas Hertl has a huge year ahead of him. As he returns from ACL and MCL surgery, he and his wife Aneta are expecting the birth of their first child in November.

Sharks fans everywhere can't wait for No. 48 to get back on the ice. But how did he pick that number? It’s quite simple.

“They give it to me,” he wrote in a recent NHLPA questionnaire.

Enough said.

But before Hertl was the Sharks’ All-Star center, he had other aspirations.

Believe it or not, he wrote in the questionnaire that he wanted to be an architect if he wasn’t going to be a hockey player. But he was born to play hockey.

His dad, Jaroslav, during the winter in his native in Prague, would create nets (measuring the perfect size) on the frozen ponds near where he lived. Hertl’s dad would even kick off skaters if they were recreationally using the area where he wanted to play hockey.

[RELATED: Sharks avoid nightmare scenario in 2020 NHL Draft lottery]

As much as Hertl could have thrived as an architect, his career as a hockey star was destined.

NHL, NHLPA agree to four-year CBA extension through 2025-26 season

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USATSI

NHL, NHLPA agree to four-year CBA extension through 2025-26 season

While MLB and the MLB Players Association spent the last few months bickering, the NHL and its Players Association used the last few weeks to hammer out a new CBA.

On Monday, the two sides announced that they had agreed to a memorandum of understanding for a new four-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

If ratified this week, the CBA would run through the 2025-26 NHL season, and expire Sept. 15, 2026.

The NHL and NHLPA also were able to iron out details for the season restart, but because the Sharks aren't heading to one of the two hub cities, that part doesn't really affect them.

TSN's Frank Seravalli reported Sunday that part of the new CBA stipulated that the 2020-21 salary cap would be frozen at $81.5 million, and wouldn't rise until the league reached $4.8 billion in hockey-related revenue.

The Sharks have a lot of free-agent decisions to make this offseason, so a salary-cap freeze doesn't help them.

According to CapFriendly.com, the Sharks will enter the offseason with $14,881,667 in cap space. But with Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson, Stefan Noesen, Aaron Dell and three other players hitting unrestricted free agency, San Jose might not be able to bring all of them back.

Additionally, Kevin Labanc headlines the Sharks' four restricted free agents. General manager Doug Wilson is going to have a tough time re-signing everyone.

[RELATED: Could Burns be left unprotected for expansion draft?]

If you're keeping track, that's 11 unrestricted or restricted free agents with just under $15 million in cap space to sign them. A few players probably aren't returning next season.

While the Sharks have their work cut out for them this offseason, the league and the Players Association took care of business well ahead of time.