NHL Rumors: Tomas Hertl, Phil Kessel and Aleksander Barkov
Two players who could hit the trade bait board

TSN: Some players that could have their names on the trade bait board this season.

Pierre LeBrun: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl could be one of the bigger names that might be available at some point. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the season and would get some interest.

“The Sharks would have loved to have extended him this past summer, but my sense was Hertl just wasn’t ready to enter that type of conversation. So where does this go? If the Sharks are out of a playoff spot come March 21st trade deadline and Hertl doesn’t have a change of heart, I think that’s a guy that could be in play. “

  • Kevin Kurz: “Pierre reporting Sharks wanted to sign Hertl to an extension last season, but – as I reported in late August – Hertl may not want to. Gonna take some time for this to play out, methinks.”

Darren Dreger: Arizona Coyotes pending UFA forward Phil Kessel will be available as GM Bill Armstrong continues to rebuild. Kessel is open to a fresh start and to earn a new deal for next year.

“He’s got some no-trade protection and he wants to go to a competitive, if not a contending team. He’s got the big cap-hit, but the salary is only one million dollars. So, if you have an injury or a team that is struggling offensively, he could be a fit later in the season.”

The Panthers and Barkov pushing for an extension

TSN: There have been lots of talks between the Florida Panthers and Aleksander Barkov the past few weeks about a long-term contract extension according to Pierre LeBrun. He’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

“I think if they can push this over the finish line you can see an announcement within the next few weeks in Florida.”