It’s not quite the level of Jack Eichel’s desire to get out of the clasp of the Buffalo Sabres, but the San Jose Sharks seem to have a case that’s similar to that. Sharks center Tomas Hertl was recently interviewed in the Czech Republic where he openly expressed his reservations about whether San Jose is looking to keep get him a new contract. More than that, he also seems to be doubting his own inclination to stay in San Jose beyond the upcoming season.
Via Kevin Kurz of The Athletic:
“I wonder if San Jose will want to re-sign me, and if I’ll want to stay there,” Hertl told iDNES.cz. “I don’t want to think about it so it doesn’t negatively affect me. I’ll start the season and see how it turns out.”
Hertl, who will turn 28 in November, has a year left on his contract, and if he doesn’t get extended, he should be one of the most sought-after commodities in next year’s free agency period. However, if Hertl is questioning his own desire to continue playing for the Sharks, then San Jose could shop him than risk losing him in 2022 for nothing.
Could this open things up for Eichel as a potential trade target for the Sharks? That’s highly unlikely. For one, the Sharks don’t have enough assets to turn the heads of the Sabres. That being said, it doesn’t mean the Sharks could not try to extricate Eichel away from the Sabres, especially since there are rumors that the Anaheim Ducks are also on the embattled center.
Hertl has been special for San Jose, the only team he’s played for so far in his NHL career. He has 151 goals and 172 assists in eight years with the Sharks. Last season, he led all Sharks skaters with at least 100 TOI in CF% (51.78) SF% (53.90), GF% (53.23), and xGF% (56.68), per Natural Stat Trick.