Cam Tucker

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 24:  Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks awaits a face off against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on February 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Sharks’ Hertl may still need knee surgery

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Initially, it was reported that San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl wouldn’t need surgery for a knee injury that occurred in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

A few days later, however, it seems surgery may still be a possibility for the 22-year-old Hertl, based on a report from the San Jose Mercury News on Monday.

“We’re doing an extensive evaluation now and we’ll have a determination within the next week on a few players on whether or not they need surgery or if any treatment is needed,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson, as per the San Jose Mercury News.

“Hopefully that is the case and everybody will be ready come September. But I’ll get a better read on that in the next week to 10 days.”

Hertl scored in the series opener versus Pittsburgh, but was hurt on a hit from Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist in Game 2 and never returned to the series due to the injury.

 

Panthers GM: Acquiring rights to pending UFA Yandle ‘was a risk worth taking’

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 27:  Keith Yandle #93 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on November 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Rangers 4-3.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Florida Panthers went out Monday and acquired the negotiating rights to defenseman Keith Yandle, a pending unrestricted free agent coming off a 47-point regular season with the New York Rangers.

The move cost them a sixth-round pick this year and a conditional pick in 2017, reported to be a fourth-round pick if Yandle signs in Florida, as per Darren Dreger of TSN.

Panthers GM Tom Rowe said later in a conference call that his assistant general managers Eric Joyce and Steve Werier were, as of Monday evening, negotiating a contract with Yandle’s agent.

“We wouldn’t have made the trade if we weren’t confident we could come to a conclusion and get him into our system,” said Rowe.

“I thought it was a risk worth taking given the ability of the player, the way the game’s going and the way we were able to increase our possession numbers under (head coach Gerard Gallant) was real impressive. And we thought adding a player of Keith’s ability was going to make us that much more a playoff team and a serious contender going forward.”

Having put up three 50-point seasons in the NHL, Yandle’s puck moving ability could be a huge boost to a Panthers team stocked with talented young forwards.

While bringing in the rights of one pending UFA, the Panthers have another blue liner — Brian Campbell — at the end of his current contract and approaching free agency.

Rowe said he believes Campbell, 37, will test free agency, which would reiterate his thoughts from last month.

“We had to go with our next phase of our plan and we felt Keith was a real good target to go after,” said Rowe.

The Panthers are coming off a first-place finish in the Atlantic Division in the regular season, but a first-round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.

By acquiring Yandle, Rowe believes the organization is showing its fan base it is ready to become a contender.

“I think it’s a sign to the fan base that we’re real serious about winning the Stanley Cup,” said Rowe.

“We want to build on the momentum we started last year and continue growing. We want the players to also know we’re real serious about winning and want to be a consistent playoff team.”

Other notes on the Panthers blue line situation:

— Rowe said the Panthers “are not shopping” 25-year-old defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. It was recently reported that the Boston Bruins wanted Kulikov, who has one more year left on his deal with a cap hit of $4,333,333 before he’s a pending unrestricted free agent.

— Prospect defenseman Ian McCoshen, Florida’s second-round pick in 2013, could make the Panthers roster out of training camp, said Rowe. “We like him that much. We think he’s a big, big piece of what we’re trying to do.” McCoshen finished his junior year at Boston College, with six goals and 21 points in 40 games, before recently signing with the Panthers.

Oilers sign Oesterle to one-year contract extension

EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 23:  Jordan Oesterle #82 of the Edmonton Oilers warms up against the Ottawa Senators on February 23, 2016 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
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The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenseman Jordan Oesterle to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

Oesterle, who turns 24 years old on Saturday, was a pending restricted free agent at the end of his two-year entry-level deal with a cap hit of $767,500 at the NHL level, as per General Fanager. He split last season between the Oilers and the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.

With the Condors, he had 25 points in 44 games. In 17 games with the Oilers last season, Oesterle had five assists.

As per Ryan Rishaug of TSN, his new contract is a two-way deal.

In those 17 games with the Oilers last season, while on recall from the AHL, Oesterle seems to have left a favorable impression on Edmonton coach Todd McLellan.

“What do I see him? I see his skating,” said McLellan, as per the Edmonton Journal in March. “He’s not afraid to skate with the puck, he can escape and he gets the puck up the ice.”

Penguins will raise Stanley Cup banner before home opener — against the Capitals and Ovechkin

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 10:  Nick Bonino #13 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the Washington Capitals in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 10, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will play their home opener against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 13. Rivalry renewed, between the teams and their star players Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. But there is a little more to it.

The Penguins will also raise their Stanley Cup championship banner prior to the game — against the rival team they knocked out in six games in the second round of the 2016 playoffs.

The Capitals fell behind 3-1 in the series and couldn’t complete a comeback as Nick Bonino scored in overtime of Game 6 to send the Penguins through to the conference finals. And from there, they rallied for the franchise’s second Stanley Cup in the last eight years.

Meanwhile, the Capitals, after that Presidents’ Trophy-winning regular season, are still searching for their first championship.

Following the Penguins’ Stanley Cup victory, they were listed as 8/1 favorites to win it all next year, according to online bookmaker Bovada, while the Capitals followed close behind at 10/1.

Panthers acquire rights to pending UFA Keith Yandle (Updated)

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Keith Yandle #93 of the New York Rangers in action in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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The Florida Panthers have entered Monday’s trade market.

According to reports, the Panthers acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Keith Yandle from the New York Rangers in exchange for draft picks.

At the age of 29, Yandle scored five goals and 47 points in 82 regular season games for the Rangers in 2015-16. He’s at the end of a five-year, $26.25 million contract.

Updated: Both teams have now announced the deal.

Related: UFA of the Day: Keith Yandle