Sharks are dealing with huge choice with Tomas Hertl


After almost twenty years as a constant playoff crew and Stanley Cup contender, the San Jose Sharks are clearly heading towards a few of type of a reset.

They’ve missed the playoffs two years in a row, completed twenty ninth and twenty sixth within the league-wide standings, and don’t actually have a roster that appears like it’s going to be able to a lot better this season. It is likely one of the oldest rosters within the league, full of huge contracts to getting old gamers on the draw back of their careers, missing in younger influence expertise, and nonetheless possessing main query marks in internet. Even in a watered down division that’s quick on contenders, they’re dealing with an uphill battle to even contend for a playoff spot within the short-term future.

They’re additionally dealing with some huge choices with Tomas Hertl, who might be the perfect present participant on the roster.

Hertl is ready to enter the ultimate yr of his contract and goes to be in line for a major contract over the subsequent calendar yr, whether or not it’s with the Sharks or anyone else.

[Related: Every free agent signing by all 32 NHL teams]

Over the previous three years he has been one of the efficient forwards within the league, scoring at a top-line price that has seen him common a 30-goal, 70-point tempo over 82 video games whereas additionally posting nice possession and scoring likelihood numbers. When he’s on the ice nice issues are usually taking place for the Sharks. He’s a participant that they need to completely wish to preserve.

However there are a few variables which can be going to play a task in whether or not or not that may truly occur.

Prime amongst them: Does Hertl wish to keep? The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reported that Hertl is likely one of the gamers that has been upset with the crew’s dealing with of the Evander Kane scenario, and if the crew’s tradition shouldn’t be addressed he might not be inquisitive about sticking round. If that scenario doesn’t get resolved quickly, and the Sharks proceed to lose, what motivation would there be for a 28-year-old top-line participant to wish to keep in that scenario?

The simple reply to that, in fact, is cash. And numerous it.

However even that leads us to the second downside. The Sharks have about $14 million in cap area for the 2022-23 season with solely 14 gamers underneath contract. Hertl’s subsequent contract is sort of going to definitely be north of $7 or 8 million (at the least) and eat into most of that. There are all the time methods to get round wage cap points, however clearing wage goes to be simpler mentioned than achieved for the Sharks. They not solely have one of many older rosters within the league, numerous the oldest gamers on the crew are nonetheless tied into huge contracts for the subsequent a number of years.

Which in the end leads us to the ultimate variable right here: Is it price it for the Sharks — and Hertl, for that matter — to wish to do a long-term contract?

The Sharks will not be near being a contender proper now, and are most likely years away from reaching that time once more. Does Hertl wish to commit the final remaining years of his prime to a crew that doesn’t have a practical likelihood of profitable? And do the Sharks wish to put themselves right into a place the place they struggle a aggressive rebuild and simply preserve mediocrity for longer? Sooner or later each crew, irrespective of how aggressive they’re or for a way lengthy, goes to undergo some down years and have to re-tool. It’s almost inconceivable to try this and nonetheless compete on the identical time, and virtually each crew that tries it finally ends up furthering their struggles.

Hertl is likely one of the few gamers on the roster that has actual, significant commerce worth and will assist kickstart a rebuild.

If it will get into the season and the Sharks are struggling once more and contract talks don’t go anyplace, it’s most likely the one smart possibility.

Extra NHL Information

Blues re-sign Colton Parayko to 8-year, $52 million contract extension Islanders preserve Beauvillier, Cizikas, Palmieri, Sorokin with multi-year offers Canadiens’ choices in the event that they don’t match Kotkaniemi supply sheet

Adam Gretz is a author for Professional Hockey Speak on NBC Sports activities. Drop him a line at or observe him on Twitter @AGretz.

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