When Tomas Hertl broke into the NHL with the Sharks back in 2013, he was 19 years old and over 5,800 miles away from his home of Prague, Czech Republic. Just 15 months after San Jose selected him as the 17th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Hertl scored his first two NHL goals in his second career game against the Phoenix Coyotes. It was Hertl’s third game that won us over; four goals scored against the New York Rangers in a 9-2 dismantling of King Henrik and the Blueshirts.
It became evident in his post-game interview with Brodie Brazil that Hertl’s English wasn’t well developed. Just a 19-year old kid, his knowledge of hockey was his way of communicating on the ice with his teammates rather than verbal communication. However, Hertl’s interview gave Sharks fans memorable quotes including, "This Is Dream" and "Mom! Girlfriend!"
Tommy Wingels made his debut back in October of 2010, which is funny because he still seems like a kid. He turns 29 years old in April and unfortunately will bring in his 29th orbit around the sun with the Ottawa Senators after being traded yesterday in what was a move focused on salary.
Wingels played 337 games in teal, scoring 51 goals and tallying 71 assists in parts of seven seasons before being shipped off to the Canadian capital yesterday. In those seasons, Wingels primarily centered the fourth line and is a nice addition to a Senators team looking to make the playoffs.
The most devastating news of the trade was the realization it broke up the marvelous and remarkable friendship between Tomas and Tommy, a friendship which seemed unlikely on the surface: Hertl, a Czechian with a future as a 1st line center and Wingels, an Illinois native drafted in the sixth round.
We’re going to miss you, Tommy, and we wish you all the luck in Ottawa. I know you’ll keep in touch with Hertl and maybe he’ll fly you out to Prague this upcoming off-season. Just remember fun must be always.
Below are some of my favorite videos and social media posts that detail the friendship that we didn’t know we needed.
Congrats @TomasHertl48 ! now @tommywingels57 doesn't have to buy you dinner every night!— Logan Couture (@Logancouture) June 29, 2016
Tough day!! l'll miss you my best friend @tommywingels57— Tomáš Hertl (@TomasHertl48) January 24, 2017
I wish all the best.
Fun must be always
Never forget that!
Peas and Carrots!