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SJHN Daily: Which Sharks Might Go to 2026 Olympics? Simek Named Cuda Captain

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The NHL is headed back to the Olympics.

The league, NHLPA, and IIHF announced today at a joint press conference at All-Star weekend in Toronto that they’d be returning to the Winter Olympics in Feb. 2026. The 2026 Winter Games are set to be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

The NHL will also participate in the 2030 Winter Olympics, location announced later this year.

This will be the first time that the NHL has been at the Olympics since 2014 in Sochi. The league was supposed to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but COVID restrictions caused them to back out.

Feb. 2026 feels like a long way from now, but it’s just two years away. Which San Jose Sharks might participate?

Tomas Hertl, who will be 32 then, should be a shoo-in for Czechia…if he’s still with the San Jose Sharks.

The same could be said for Mikael Granlund, 33 in two years, and a possible spot on Finland, and Nico Sturm for Germany.

If William Eklund continues to develop at his current pace, a call from Sweden could be in the cards.

Will 2023 fourth-overall pick Will Smith make an immediate-enough NHL impact that he might be considered for a likely very deep USA squad?

Another big if: Will Russia be invited to participate in the 2026 Games? And if so, could Shakir Mukhamadullin be part of their blue line?

One dark horse: Canada isn’t as deep in goal as they have been in previous Olympics. As recently as a couple years ago, Mackenzie Blackwood was considered the future in goal for our neighbors up north. Could a couple strong seasons with the San Jose Sharks put him back in the conversation?

AT SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW…

Danil Gushchin will miss the 2024 AHL All-Star Game with an injury.

Tomas Hertl will play on Connor McDavid and Will Arnett’s team at the NHL All-Star Game.

Should the San Jose Sharks keep their top defense prospect in the NHL?

Here are SJHN’s takeaways from Mike Grier’s ‘State of the San Jose Sharks’ presser.

IN OTHER SHARKS NEWS…

The San Jose Barracuda have a new captain!

Sharkie is having a blast in Toronto with All-Star Hertl.

The entire Hertl family is rocking the new third jersey at NHL All-Star weekend.

AROUND THE NHL…

The NHL announced at All-Star weekend that it plans to send its players to the 2026 and 2030 Olympics, plus a series of best-on-best tournaments to come with it.

Commissioner Gary Bettman also provided an update on the NHL players involved in the 2018 Hockey Canada sexual assault scandal.

The Montreal Canadiens dealt Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Florida Panthers All-Star Sam Reinhart isn’t letting contract negotiations distract him during a career year.

What could the New York Islanders get for Brock Nelson in a trade?

An ex-baseball executive joined the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group.

The Boston Bruins could be hampered at the trade deadline without a first-round pick.

The Philadelphia Flyers are fielding trade offers for Scott Laughton, per a report.

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