The San Jose Sharks were already in disaster mode, but received even worse news in a season they'd like to put behind them as soon as possible.
On Thursday afternoon, the Sharks announced that star forward Tomas Hertl will miss the remainder of the season after suffering both a torn ACL and MCL.
The injury occurred during the first period of Wednesday night's game against the Vancouver Canucks. While on a breakaway attempt, Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev collided with Hertl's left knee, which was then unintentionally slammed into the boards.
Hertl managed 16 goals and tallied 36 points prior to sustaining the season-ending injury.
The Sharks have had a disastrous campaign, entering the year touted as contenders for the Stanley Cup. Instead, they've been plagued by shoddy goaltending and injuries. Perhaps the worst to occur was to center Logan Couture, who suffered a fractured left ankle earlier in January.
Prior to the downfall, the team fired coach Peter DeBoer back in December in hopes for a boost under interim coach Bob Baughner. That's proven not to be the case, and DeBoer was hired by the Vegas Golden Knights to be their new coach weeks later.
To make matters worse, San Jose is without a first-round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. That pick now belongs to the Ottawa Senators via the Erik Karlsson trade.
The free fall continues for the Sharks, with Hertl's injury acting as the latest monumental blow to the struggling franchise.