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The Tomas Hertl trade has (already) prevented the Sharks from completing another transaction
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
On Friday afternoon, as the final minutes ticked away before the trade deadline, the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights completed a transaction that no one expected: Tomas Hertl headed to the Golden Knights.

In return, the Sharks got prospect David Edstrom (drafted in the first round at the last draft) and a first-round pick… but they also had to give away two third-round picks.

It was a rather unusual transaction, as the Sharks had to give away two picks in addition to what was probably their best player to get, roughly speaking, the equivalent of two first-round picks.

That said, the most peculiar detail was that the Sharks also had to withhold salary… on a contract that will expire in 2030.

Given that the club is already withholding money on Brent Burns’ contract (until the summer of 2025) and Erik Karlsson’s (until the summer of 2027), the Sharks are handcuffed in terms of salary withholding. In fact, they can no longer withhold a new salary until July 1, 2025.

And obviously, this has already had an impact on the Sharks, as the transaction involving Hertl prevented the California outfit from completing a deal that would have sent Alexander Barabanov to the Rangers, as Sheng Peng reports.

The Rangers needed the Sharks to withhold salary… but they could no longer do so.

Even worse: the Sharks had told Barabanov that he would definitely be traded before the trade deadline, and it looked like they were about to fulfill that promise, but the Russian player’s $3.5M cap hit meant that the Rangers couldn’t afford him.

And since the Hertl deal came late in the day, it would have been difficult to find a third team willing to withhold salary instead of the Sharks. So the deal simply never happened, probably to Barabanov’s displeasure.

I have a feeling that this will be a recurring theme in San Jose over the next few years. The club has seriously handcuffed itself with its salary retention space, and not only will it be difficult to make the playoffs by paying players who no longer play in the city (and with such a core), but it will also be difficult to go out and find other choices without being able to withhold salary on the rental players to be traded.

Maybe David Edstrom and the player drafted with the other first-round pick will prove me wrong and turn the Sharks around on their own… but Mike Grier better get creative to navigate through all this in the years to come.

In a gust


– Hopefully she’ll be back soon.

– Logan O’Connor will miss the rest of the season.

– Nice read.

– It’s understandable.

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