Sharks sign Tomas Hertl to 8-year contract extension

The bag must be always.

Despite concerns that the San Jose Sharks’ lackluster performance this season — the team is poised to miss out on playoffs for the third straight season, a franchise first — would send him packing, Tomas Hertl isn’t going anywhere.

With his name circulating in rumors (or more accurately, wishful thinking) ahead of the approaching NHL Trade Deadline, the Sharks affirmed Hertl isn’t for sale and won’t be leaving the Bay Area any time soon by signing the veteran center to an eight-year contract extension on Wednesday afternoon. Per CapFriendly, the deal carries a no-movement clause for the first three years of the contract, then an additional modified no-trade clause for the remainder of the contract. The terms of the NTC include a three-team trade list for three years and an expanded 15-team trade list in the final two years.

Hertl’s contract totals $65.1 million, an average annual value of $8,137,500. There are no performance bonuses, but the actual salary is broken up with signing bonuses and is front-loaded. The Sharks are on the hook for $8.25 million next season and over $10 million for the three subsequent seasons, before scaling back in the final four years of the contract.

The deal immediately makes Hertl the highest-paid forward on the Sharks, clearing Logan Couture by $137,500.

“Tomas has evolved into a premier top-line centerman in the league, competing against the NHL’s best players every single night and delivering significant results,” said Sharks assistant general manager Joe Will in a release. “By agreeing to this contract, Tomas is cementing his path with the Sharks, following in the footsteps of some incredible players who have worn the Sharks crest. He has shown that he wants to play in San Jose for years to come and it shows his dedication to the organization and community since he joined the team in 2012. We are thrilled to have Tomas for another eight years.”

There’s no question that Hertl is worth the money. His player card below (created by JFresh of EP Rinkside) shows that he has been dominant on both sides of the ice and finishing this season.

What the Sharks do from here, though, will be pivotal. The terms of this contract signal that the next three years will be critical to turn the ship around and get back to being a contender.

Time will tell if that will happen. For now, fun must be always.