The San Jose Sharks want Tomas Hertl back.
“I expect the San Jose Sharks to circle back around over the next month here and perhaps make an offer to Tomas Hertl,” Pierre LeBrun reported on TSN’s Insider Trading yesterday.
The impending UFA is in the midst of a career goal-scoring campaign — he’s on pace for 43 goals, which would be his first 40-goal season.
Th alternate captain is also well-respected in the locker room and arguably the franchise’s most popular player.
The Sharks themselves, in the midst of a “reset” and not a rebuild, are enjoying a surprise year, hanging on to the last wild card spot in the West.
All in all, a contract offer from the San Jose Sharks to the 28-year-old centerman isn’t a surprise. San Jose Hockey Now noted last Trade Deadline: “A source had previously suggested to SJHN that the Sharks see Hertl as a culture-setter, in the vein of a Couture or a Joe Pavelski.”
“I love Tomas Hertl,” GM Doug Wilson offered during training camp. “But [a new contract] has to be one of those things that works for everybody.”
Hertl is performing and the San Jose Sharks are winning, but like Wilson noted, it takes two to tango.
Hertl has given every indication — and it’s San Jose Hockey Now’s belief too — that his priority is to win.
“For sure, you’re looking for the place where you can win the most. We are here to win,” Hertl said in camp. “Some guys never play in the playoffs. I can’t even imagine because it’s the best of all hockey.
Do Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson’s renaissance campaigns, William Eklund in the pipeline set the groundwork for a place where Tomas Hertl can win and soon?
That’s an open question: But it’s fair to say that these factors and the potential clearance of Evander Kane’s lucrative contract make winning in San Jose a far more likely proposition than say six months ago.
So what would a Hertl contract offer look like? We speculated on that during the summer, using Sean Couturier’s recent extension as a template.
Would Hertl accept such an offer? Will the San Jose Sharks step up to the plate like that?
“Now if that [contract offer] does not lead to an extension, you know what I’m going to say next,” LeBrun said. “There may not be a bigger name on the trade bait board than Tomas Hertl.”
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