The San Jose Sharks were without forward Tomas Hertl for their final four games of the 2016 postseason – but despite his absence, his performance in the 20 games he was able to appear in left a lasting impression.
That will likely factor in when he begins contract extension talks with the Sharks, although Hertl suggests those haven’t begun quite yet.
The 22-year-old former first round pick won’t need surgery for the unspecified lower body injury that held him out of the final games of the Stanley Cup Final, but he’ll stick around San Jose for some rehab. While he’s there, he’ll almost certainly begin talking about the extension he’ll need to sign before the start of the upcoming season; although he insisted he didn’t begin talks to focus on playing, things will need to get done reasonably soon.
Drafted 17th overall by the Sharks in 2012, Hertl has put up a collective 49 goals and 102 points in his 200 career NHL games with the Pacific Division club. He’s coming off the final year of his entry-level contract, which means that he’ll almost certainly get a significant raise – the question, though, will be how much of a raise he’ll get.
The Sharks have $60 million committed towards the salary cap for the upcoming 2016-17 season, with Hertl, Matt Neito, Dylan Demelo, and a backup goaltender all needing to be inked before the start of the new year. That’s not the most dire of circumstances, but will certainly mean that the team needs to be smart with their negotiations over the summer.
The good news, though, is that both parties head into the negotiations with fond dispositions. Hertl himself was nothing but complimentary of the Sharks and their fanbase:
“I love playing here. Fans, everything, teammates, it’s great and I love it. I love to stay longer here.”