Hertl, 19, was San Jose’s first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Czech native has spent the last three seasons playing with Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga, emerging as a talented scoring despite being one of the youngest players in the league.
Last year, Hertl had 30 points in 43 games, an impressive feat given the number of NHLers that played in the Extraliga during the lockout (Slavia Praha featured St. Louis’ Vladimir Sobotka and Calgary’s Roman Cervenka).
At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Hertl could have a shot at cracking the Sharks roster for 2013-14.
He’s spent the last two seasons playing professionally in one of the better domestic European leagues, and was the youngest player chosen to represent the Czech Republic at the 2013 World Hockey Championships, averaging over 12 minutes while appearing in all eight of the team’s games.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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