NHL Rumors: San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Calgary Flames
Sharks need to go on a run

Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News: The San Jose Sharks remain on the outside looking in with regards to the playoffs. The Sharks will need to go on a good run. They’ll still be without Erik Karlsson for a few more weeks.

Acting GM Joe Will has said he’s not thinking about trading pending UFA Tomas Hertl. Hertl is looking for a long-term deal at fair value, and he wants to win. It’s hard not to see them at least discussing the idea of trade.

Penguins can’t afford Rust and can’t afford to lose him

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It’s looking like Pittsburgh Penguins pending UFA forward Bryan Rust will test free agency. The Penguins just can’t afford to extend the 30-year old. They can’t afford to not re-sign him either.

Speculation has Rust possibly looking for a six-year deal at $6 million per. GM Ron Hextall said that there have been some talks and that he’s optimistic.

“… We’d like to sign some of our (UFAs). We have a hard salary cap, so they’re going to have to work with us. Certain players, if they want the most money, they’re probably going to go elsewhere,” Hextall said on Jan. 27. “But I think you could say that about every team. We’re hoping that our guys are comfortable here, which I believe they are. Hopefully, we can find a deal that satisfies both sides.”

Sources say that pending UFA defenseman Kris Letang hopes talks start soon.

If Rust leaves in free agency, the Penguins don’t have a Rust replacement at the moment.

Flames looking for a defenseman

The Fourth Period: The Calgary Flames had discussed Ben Chiarot with the Montreal Canadiens in the Tyler Toffoli trade talks. The Flames could revisit Chiarot talks, but GM Brad Treliving is looking at other options as well.

The Flames don’t have a lot of salary cap space to work with so they may need to get creative.

The Flames have shown some interest in pending UFAs Calvin de Haan (Blackhawks) and Mark Giordano (Kraken).