Sharks

Watch Joe Thornton score two goals in NHL playoff game for first time

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USATSI

Watch Joe Thornton score two goals in NHL playoff game for first time

Joe Thornton picked up a first in his 176th career playoff game. 

The Sharks center scored two goals against the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Wednesday night. Thornton's multi-goal night at Enterprise Center is the first of his Stanley Cup playoff career. 

Thornton gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the first period with his first goal of the night. He grabbed a loose puck in front of Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, beating the rookie netminder with his back hand. 

St. Louis answered early in the second period, cutting San Jose's lead to one goal when Alex Steen finished off a drop pass from linemate Ivan Barbashev. Eighteen seconds after the Blues got on the board, Thornton once again extended the Sharks' lead.

With Binnington looking the other way, Kevin Labanc back-handed a pass to Thornton and the veteran center pushed the puck to himself and tapped it through the rookie's five-hole. 

[RELATED: Karlsson busts slump, scores first playoff goal with Sharks]

Thornton, 39, became the ninth-oldest player to score two goals in a Stanley Cup playoff game, according to NBC Sports California statistician Darin Stephens. His night also stands alone in Sharks history.

The veteran's second goal gave the Sharks some breathing room. When Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko busted his slump two-and-a-half minutes later, San Jose still nursed a one-goal lead thanks to Thornton's milestone tally. 

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 CapFriendly.com) 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.