San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn announced that center Tomas Hertl will not be playing in Monday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
It’s unclear as to what caused the injury, as Hertl, 30, played the entirety of Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, including the final 50 seconds of the game. It’s likely that he either played through it during the game or it happened in the time since then. The severity of the injury is also unknown, but the fact that he hasn’t been placed on injured reserve indicates that it’s a short-term concern.
Hertl’s had a solid start to the season, as he has four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 21 games for the Sharks. It puts him on his usual 60+ point pace, which is impressive considering the struggles of the Sharks this season. He’s been one of the better offensive creators in the league since 2021, with his 27.6 offensive goals above replacement ranking 61st among forwards in that span.
Hertl was the 17th overall selection of the Sharks in the 2012 NHL Draft, and after making his debut in 2013-14 he’s spent the entirety of his 11-season NHL career in San Jose. He’s currently in the second year of an eight-year contract with an $8.1375 cap hit, one he signed just before the 2022 trade deadline when the Sharks decided not to trade him.
Winger Justin Bailey is expected to replace Hertl in the lineup on Monday night after signing an NHL contract with the team earlier that day. He has six goals and five assists for 11 points in 16 games with the San Jose Barracuda in the NHL. Meanwhile, it looks like Luke Kunin will fill in for Hertl on the top line alongside William Eklund and Mike Hoffman, a combination that’s been outscored 1-0 and has a 16.92% 5v5 expected goal share in 7:48 of ice time together.
The Sharks will look to make it back-to-back wins for just the second time this season in Monday’s game against the Capitals, which starts at 10:30 p.m. EST. The Sharks currently sit in last place in the league with a 4-15-2 record.