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How Can Sharks Make Playoffs with Hertl Next Year?



The Tomas Hertl saga has finally come to a close with Hertl signing an eight-year, $65.1M contract extension that’ll keep him with the San Jose Sharks through the 2029-30 season.

While this decision may have disappointed some rebuild-minded Sharks fans, it should come as no surprise. The Sharks have made it clear since the beginning of this season that their plan was to extend Hertl to help them compete for the playoffs in the immediate future.

So, for this week’s episode we break down the extension and then look to the future: How can the San Jose Sharks continue win next year with Hertl?

It might look a little bit like how we sold Hertl on coming back to the San Jose Sharks a month ago!

Sheng Sells Hertl on Staying with Sharks

But we added some fresh ideas too: We kick things off by breaking down the contract and evaluating its fairness for both the Sharks and Hertl (3:42).

How does Hertl’s new contract impact extensions for guys like Timo Meier, Mario Ferraro, and Alexander Barabanov? (5:42)

And with the Trade Deadline looming, do we see Barabanov or Jake Middleton getting traded? (8:51)

Before we get into our brainstorm session, we clarify what the Sharks’ plan has been and what it’s going to be (15:20).

Make no mistake, re-signing Hertl is an accelerator to the organization’s “reset” plan (23:00).

We highlight the current problem cap areas for the Sharks, those being the contracts of Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Radim Simek, and Kevin Labanc (28:45). Once again, the Sharks are committed to Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Logan Couture, so no point re-hashing their contracts.

We propose different ways on how the Sharks can maneuver away those contracts, including the possibility of trading Vlasic (32:30).

What draft pick would the Sharks have to attach to Simek to get him off the books? (43:30)

With Labanc’s injury this season it might prove difficult to move his contract, but we still believe the Sharks could move assets around to also free up his contract (47:02).

Finally, we circle back to what we think the Sharks should prioritize this off-season, in the shape of a bona fide 3C (53:56).

Let us know your reaction to Hertl’s extension. Do you think the NTC opening up helps keep the Sharks’ options open? Do you have a free agent you want the Sharks to pursue in the offseason? Tell us in the comments.

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