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Hertl Hasn’t Decided If He’s Staying with Sharks Yet



Credit: Sammi Silber

Tomas Hertl’s parents are asking. So’s his wife. He also sees the tweets from fans.

But the impending UFA doesn’t know if he’s staying with the San Jose Sharks yet.

“We just want, for both sides, to be fair,” Hertl said.

Fair for Hertl would be being paid like one of the best centers in the NHL.

“I did a pretty good job the last couple of years proving I can be a top centerman in the league,” he noted.

There’s no doubt about that: Since 2018-19, just 13 centers around the league have recorded more goals than Hertl’s 92. Among Sharks forwards, only captain Logan Couture has played more minutes at even strength and on special teams.

30-goal centers who are reliable at both ends of the ice don’t grow on trees.

The going market rate, as I explored yesterday, is the maximum eight-year contract, above $7 million dollars per season.

“It’s always nice to get years because you work hard for this moment,” Hertl pointed out. “It’s not often you get to this point, maybe once or twice, and you just want to get what you deserve.”

Are the San Jose Sharks, in “reset” mode as an organization, ready to give Tomas Hertl what he deserves?

And just as important, is Hertl ready to commit perhaps the best years of his career to a team that’s missed the playoffs the last two seasons and is just on the fringe of the post-season race this year?

“This year, it’s for sure better. We’re still on the edge, but we got a pretty good chance to get to the playoffs,” he offered. “It’s way more fun.

“We got some young guys coming up. We saw early in the season, Eklund and what he can do. For sure, the future is brighter for the Sharks.”

But Hertl is also well aware how hard it is to win the Stanley Cup — past teammates have taught him that much.

“To win the Cup is something special. It’s not easy to get. Some guys get lucky, they win it first year,” Hertl acknowledged. “But you look at guys like Patty, Pav, and Jumbo, some of the best players in the league, but they never get a chance to win it.

“You try to do all the best and hunt the Cup too, lift it and bring it home. But it’s really hard and sometimes you have to be lucky. Sometimes, you can get to a different team and it’ll work out there.”

So does Tomas Hertl think the San Jose Sharks can win a Stanley Cup soon?

That’s a good question that Hertl might answer soon with his decision.

Suffice to say, there’s a lot on Hertl’s mind right now. Not that you could tell on the ice, what with his team-leading 22 goals.

“I’ve always wanted to stay,” Hertl mused. “It’s great when you play for one team in your whole career and you can say I was like with the Sharks forever. Not many guys in the NHL just stay with [one] organization and give the fans, the city everything.”

But then he added: “Some guys say sometimes it’s nice to get with other teams. You switch it up, you can even get better, get new things.

“You’re always thinking both sides.”

So despite acting GM Joe Will’s optimism — Will said on Thursday, “The one thing we have in common is that Tomas loves being a Shark, and we love having Tomas here” — the free agent-to-be wouldn’t flat-out say that he was staying.

“I’m not like saying anything 100 percent because nothing is ever 100 percent. I just say this is my team now when I’m playing and I’m doing all I can,” he offered. “We’ll see what happens in four weeks or the rest of the year. I want to just focus on playing.”

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david barnard

Joe Will’s rookie GM comments not withstanding, i’m pretty sure Hertl knows this org is nowhere near a legit SC contender, and his best chance at a cup is to move on. i think for that reason, it will be fairly easy to get him to waive his 3-team veto (as long as the team DW is dealing with is a legit contender) to become a playoff rental. the other reason i’m fairly certain he’s gone, is that the Sharks are hoping to get him on the cheap with some kind of “loyalty discount” push. fat chance! you can tell… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by david barnard
david barnard

it’s incoming.


The Sharks have to cover their ass and make it seem like they are trying their best to make him look like it’s his decision that he won’t sign.

But how are they not sellers at the trade deadline with a few teams ahead of them and only one or two playoff spots realistically attainable?


Remember Pavs said he wanted to remain a Shark too and we seen how that ended. Hertl has to think where he wants to raise his family for the rest of his career. That’s more important than a trophy.

david barnard

i can think of better places than in San Jose, CA. place is a dump. not that any millionaire players actually live in the city. i guess Monte Sereno or Saratoga hills ain’t bad though.


The problem with California is the taxes. Ca has really bad taxes whereas a state like Florida is 0% state income tax which makes the same player salary in Florida 10% more than the same salary in Ca. They can’t say that on TV, but it is a disadvantage when signing UFAs.

david barnard

Florida’s total tax burden is 6.97% (45th) to California’s 9.48% (10th highest). the only thing keeping Cali from being NY is the old Prop 13 cap on property tax (which the greedy Dems are always trying to repeal/work around). which places us below average by state comparison in that category. total sales+excise tax is also pretty unremarkable (i think we’re ranked 34th). income tax is where we get nailed (top 5).


i think its pretty simple — if a contender (tb , colorado etc ) or soon-to-be a contender (ny r ,car , fl ,etc ?) make an offer around 8-10 for 8, tommy is gone .. if a contender or soon to be a contender does not make a offer , i think he will stay in sj for 8 for 8…. he is obviously not going to a non contender for $ alone , so its really a matter if someone in the relatively small pool of contenders can clear the cap and wants to clear the cap for… Read more »

david barnard

don’t forget that his salary/cap hit can be/will be retained by the Sharks. that hit is also NOT the full amount, only what remains at the time of the trade. it won’t be a factor for a rental, only IF the team trading for him to help with this cup run wants to retain him long term. the main hurdle will be whether Hertl will relax his 3-team no trade clause (i believe he will if he really wants to compete for a cup). i don’t believe Hertl will be advised to sign a deal with whatever team he gets… Read more »


i did not even consider a cup rental with retained salary….its an interesting idea , but i doubt this is feasable …. a cup contender would have to give up at least a midround pick – even half hertls salary is 2.8… i doubt it .. colorado is not that close imho and the others have to get through tampa (odds are low even if you add hertl to ny or florida this year) i am 99% thinking off season stuff …. florida …. colorado (rebuild next year….young roster) , nyr … thats probably top 3 possible long term destinations… Read more »

david barnard

the TDL is really late this season, so i doubt what remains is even half his salary/cap hit. doesn’t really matter though, because the Sharks can eat it (if they were so inclined to move him). even as a rental Hertl will cost beaucoup assets. minimally a 1st+B prospect, probably more tbh. that 1st will be late round from a real contender. as for COL, they already made a pretty big commitment to trade for Kuemper and they have Francouz backing him up w/Annunen marinating in the AHL. i think they’re all in this year (most of their team seems… Read more »


I just don’t gather that he hasn’t decided to stay in San Jose by what he’s said. It certainly doesn’t give me the “scorched earth” vibe.
At times, what Tomas has said is hard to gather. Let’s wait and see what happens.

Go Sharks!!

david barnard

he sounds ready to move on to me, but who really knows other than Tomas?

David Gotlieb

I miss the days of no term limits. Because DW held a pretty hard line of an internal cap of 5 years max. Now that 8 is “reasonable” everyone gets 8 and we have seen how that term length has worked out for us recently.

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