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Deep Blue Sea: Are contract talks heating up with Hertl?

Plus Eric Staal prepping for Team Canada to call, All-Star snubs and more in today’s news and notes.

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Tomas Hertl #48, Brent Burns #88, Mario Ferraro #38 and Jayden Halbgewachs #89 of the San Jose Sharks celebrate scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes in a regular season game at SAP Center on December 28, 2021 in San Jose, California. Photo by Amanda Cain/NHLI

There’s no more important pending unrestricted free agent for the San Jose Sharks to lock up than Tomas Hertl.

Admittedly, there’s not a lot of pressing competition in the upcoming off-season, as Alexander Barabanov, Andrew Cogliano and Jaycob Menga are the team’s remaining UFAs, though there will need to be room in the budget for pending restricted free agents Mario Ferraro and Jonathan Dahlen, along with a handful of other RFAs.

Unloading Evander Kane’s contract is a crucial component to locking down Hertl long-term, on both a money and personal level, as Hertl reportedly was among the players who was unhappy with Kane’s behavior last season. The club has fully moved on from Kane, and hopefully that signals to Hertl that they’re serious about keeping him around.

Pierre LeBrun offered some insight into the situation with the Sharks and Hertl on TSN, stating that it would make sense for extension talks — and perhaps an offer — to happen sometime in the next month.

Certainly, there may be some room here for the Sharks to make an extension offer for their top centre, Tomas Hertl, who is a UFA at the end of the season. There were talks last summer and Hertl’s camp, led by Newport Sports, said that the Sharks were interested in talking extension at the time. But now that there might be more cap room, I expect the Sharks to circle back over the next month here and perhaps make an offer to Hertl.

If that does not lead to an extension, the trade deadline is March 21 and there may not be a bigger name on the Trade Bait Board than Tomas Hertl if he is officially made available between now and March 21.

He has almost a 100 per cent no-trade clause. Only three teams are on his “yes” list. He has lots of control and one team to keep an eye on is the New York Rangers, who I think have him on their list.

While some of it is speculative, LeBrun is plugged into San Jose’s front office more than the majority of national NHL writers, and can be trusted to have a gut instinct for Doug Wilson’s moves.

Hertl is in the final year of a four-year contract extension, signed as a restricted free agent on July 2, 2018. He currently carries a cap hit of $5.625 million, with $2 million in signing bonuses each year of his contract. As LeBrun notes, San Jose’s alternate captain has a virtually complete no-trade clause, giving him a lot of control over his future in the coming weeks, and potentially months.

In The Athletic’s recent player cards, Shayna Goldman and Dom Luszczyszyn have created a model for approximating the future market value of a player’s current pace, using similar historical contracts and a model for offense called Game Score Value Added (GSVA). They consider Hertl to be scoring goals at a Star rate, with an elite GSVA. His projected market value comes in at $9 million.

Hertl Power doesn’t come cheap. Buckle up for this one, folks.

News & Notes

  • Insider Trading: When will Kane decide on a team? [TSN]
  • Sharks shut out by first-place Rangers, and their schedule doesn’t let up much from here [The Mercury News]
  • The 2021-22 San Jose Sharks And Their Reset to Nowhere [Last Word On Sports]

Blood in the Water

  • Fastest goals in Minnesota Wild history [Hockey Wilderness]
  • What Exactly is the Goal for the Rest of This Season? [New Jersey Devils]
  • If the right trade comes along the Penguins should move their first-round pick and not think twice about it [Pensburgh]
  • Nick Lidstrom hired as Red Wings VP of Hockey Operations [Winging It In Motown]
  • 5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Beauts forward Amy Budde [The Ice Garden]
  • NHL All-Star snubs, surprises and future names to know [ESPN+]
  • Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon not happy about Nazem Kadri’s All-Star snub [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Eric Staal on potential Team Canada Olympic nod, future NHL gig: ‘I still have the itch to play’ [The Athletic]
  • Four NHL teams facing critical roster choices in 2022 [Sportsnet]
  • CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game postponed due to COVID-19 [ESPN]

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