The 2022 NHL trade deadline is Monday, March 21 at 3 p.m. ET. As we get closer to the deadline, we’ll be taking a look at some of the individual players who could be on the move. Today we continue with San Jose Sharks striker Thomas Hertl.
Perhaps the most interesting situation as we approach the trade deadline is Thomas Hertle and the San Jose Sharks.
San Jose is quickly getting out of the competition in the Western Annex, which certainly makes them sellers. Hertl is in the final year of his contract, a high-profile player, will be one of the biggest names available on the market and almost certainly a major rental mogul. If moved, he could change the rules of the game for a Stanley Cup competitor and have a major impact in the middle of any lineup.
it’s a if is moving.
The Shark family has said all the right things about their desire to re-sign him, Hurtl has expressed a desire to remain in San Jose, and the team is said to be ready to make an offer in the very near future. Whether or not the Sharks are doing play-off matches this season, there is still a very good reason why they should re-sign him. Still only 28 years old, he must have had several high-level years ahead of him, and he’s been one of their best players over the past four years.
The question is whether or not Hertl will get a deal he loves from the Sharks, and whether he sees an opportunity to win there in upcoming seasons.
How would it look back
If the sharks decide to move it, they will get a fairly large return, even as rent. Consider choosing a first round and a fairly good probability, or a high probability and a second round.
Two years ago Ottawa was traded Mark Stone Eric Branstrom (one of the frontrunners in Vegas and a recent first-round winner), Oscar Lindbergh, a second-round pick. Senators also traded Matt Duchene as a suspended free agent for a first-round pick, a conditional first-round pick (based on Duchene’s re-sign in Columbus; he didn’t) and two mid-level odds. Taylor Hall was traded as a suspended free agent by New Jersey to Arizona for a first-round pick, a conditional third-round pick, and three players. A year ago, in the middle of a really lean year at Buffalo, he was traded in for the second-round pick and Anders Bjork. Hertel is having a much better season and will be driving a lot more.
These are just some examples of similar deals in recent years. Sharks will probably expect something along those lines.
The most reasonable landing zones
• Re-signed Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild in San Jose
Re-signing with sharks is a very real possibility, and one that should not be dismissed. It can happen easily. But in case that doesn’t happen, the Bruins and Rangers are two teams to watch.
Boston has a definite need for a second midfield to play behind Bergeron’s streak, and the Rangers simply need more depth of field. Zipanegad, Hertel, Strom in the middle will surely make them a formidable opponent.
Wild will be interesting because they are one of the best teams in the league but face the very real possibility of a second round match with the Colorado Avalanche to get past the second round. Another influential player in the center can really help, plus some extra attacks.
[Related: NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Coyotes Phil Kessel trade seems inevitable]
Wild Card Team: St. Louis Blues
If the Blues are going to make a big move, they should probably use a defense upgrade, or maybe some extra network security. But like Wild, if they want to take a deep ride, they’ll have a very daunting challenge in the central section with both Minnesota and Colorado on the horizon. Ryan O’Reilly is a great midfield position, but dropping Hertl in the second line would make an already strong attack that much better.
A spot I want to see just for fun: Colorado
It totally doesn’t make sense, but I like the idea of a strong team that gets past the top and just tries to push all of their chips to the center of the table and go to the championship. Imagine an assortment with Nathan McKinnon Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landskog, Nazim Qadri and Hertel in the front and Cal Makar Devon Toze, Sam Gerrard in defence.
Predicting the NHL Trade Deadline
This may be the “boring” outcome for fans outside of San Jose, but I will say that Hertle and the Sharks reached a deal before the deadline and it stays in place. The sharks will have to sell it on the fact that they can still win in the short term (not sure they will win in the short term, but that’s a different discussion on a different day) but there should be enough mutual interest to make it work long term on a contract $7 to $9 million a year, which would be a fairly large increase over his current contract which has a salary cap number of $5.65 million. They can make it work.
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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Leave him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.
NHL trade deadline primer: Tomas Hertl could be a game-changer if he originally appeared on NBCSports.com