NHL Trade Rumors: Analyzing Latest Buzz on Tyler Johnson, Tomas Hertl

Jake RillFeatured Columnist INovember 26, 2020

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Typically, the NHL season is well underway by the time Thanksgiving arrives. Not this year.

With the 2019-20 season not wrapping up until September because of the coronavirus pandemic, the start of the 2020-21 campaign has been pushed back. And it's not been decided when the new season will begin.

In the meantime, the league's 31 teams will continue to construct their rosters. Many of the top free agents signed new contracts several weeks ago, but there are still some solid players available. And teams can also make trades to add players, potentially dealing from areas of depth.

There hasn't been too much to happen on the trade front in a while, but that could change quickly. Here's some of the latest trade buzz from around the NHL.

                      

Would Ducks Consider Trade for Johnson?

There have been numerous trade rumors surrounding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson, who cleared waivers in October. However, the 30-year-old remains on the Stanley Cup champions' roster.

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That could soon change. But is it possible that the Anaheim Ducks may be one of the suitors?

The Athletic's Eric Stephens recently broke down the likelihood of Anaheim trying to deal for Johnson. And in order for that to happen, several things may have to change.

"I think the Ducks do like [Johnson] as a player, and he'd beef up their forward grouping but surely not at the $5 million cap charge he has for four more seasons," Stephens wrote. "The only way I can see that working is if the Lightning eat half of the contract—which they would almost have to do after no one bit on him in waiversand the Ducks also moving out some money to help balance out the $2.5 million."

Johnson signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with Tampa Bay prior to the 2017-18 season. He had 31 points (14 goals and 17 assists) in 65 games this past season, and he's been a solid scorer throughout his eight-year NHL career (all of which has been spent with the Lightning).

As for whom the Ducks would consider trading, Stephens wrote that it's "more likely that a core player or a veteran gets dealt first" rather than a prospect if Anaheim continues to struggle and isn't a playoff contender in 2020-21. The Ducks have missed the postseason each of the past two years.

                      

Sharks Unlikely to Consider Trading Hertl

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Although the San Jose Sharks missed the playoffs this past season, they are not looking to go into "rebuild mode," according to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz. That's why they may hold on to some of their core players, including 27-year-old center Tomas Hertl, while looking to return to the postseason.

Hertl has been a key offensive contributor for San Jose throughout his seven-year NHL career.

"I don't see them under any circumstances moving Hertl, who was named as an alternate captain last season and is viewed as someone who can help lead the team on and off the ice," Kurz wrote.

If the Sharks changed their mind, Hertl would likely draw plenty of interest. This past season, he had 16 goals and 20 assists in 48 games. That came a year after he had a career-high 74 points (35 goals and 39 assists) in 77 games.

Hertl signed a four-year, $22.5 million deal with San Jose prior to the 2018-19 season, per CapFriendly, giving him a $5.625 million cap hit through 2022, which several teams may find more than agreeable for a player who recorded 36 points in 48 games despite the Sharks' struggles last year.