LAS VEGAS — I put Tomas Hertl in a tough spot this afternoon.
Hertl, an impending UFA who’s been subject to a barrage of trade rumors in the lead-up to the Mar. 21 Trade Deadline, had just confirmed that he and the San Jose Sharks are still discussing a new contract. He did not say if San Jose had sent him a formal contract offer yet.
“I don’t really want to get too deep because I want to keep focusing [on hockey],” the top-line center offered. “But there was some talks lately. So we will see.”
At last check about three weeks ago, Sharks acting GM Joe Will painted a Kinkade-like portrait of the team’s negotiations with Tomas Hertl and his agent Craig Oster — which wasn’t exactly Hertl’s interpretation.
I responded with the obvious question: “Can you characterize these contract talks as positive or negative…or is that too much to say?”
Of course, you wouldn’t expect Hertl to give the media fodder either way, especially if contract talks were going south. We both laughed at the relative temerity of the elephant-in-the-room question.
“I think,” Hertl shared, “I’ll say positive.”
For what it’s worth, I believe the nine-year NHL veteran has more than enough media-savvy at this point in his career to bubble in “None of the Above” when asked a “Yes” or “No” question that he doesn’t want to answer.
So take Hertl selecting, with the faintest of scribbles, “Yes” to the San Jose Sharks, at least as of Mar. 1, for what you will.
There’s still plenty of time until the Trade Deadline, so this elephant is going to be looming over every Tomas Hertl media availability until he re-signs with the San Jose Sharks or they trade him.
“Okay, we’ll ask you about it next week,” I joked not joking.
Hertl smiled, perhaps knowing what the next three weeks until the Deadline are going to be like.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.