A day after failing to land John Tavares, the San Jose Sharks are keeping familiar faces in the fold.
Not long after inking Joe Thornton to a one-year, $5 million contract (more on that here), the Sharks announced a four-year contract for RFA forward Tomas Hertl.
The Sharks didn’t disclose Hertl’s cap hit yet for reasons, so this post will be updated when more is known about the financial terms. The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reports that it is $5.625M per season, which would leave the Sharks with approximately $8.2M in cap space.
“Tomas took a big step forward last season, both on and off the ice, and we feel that he is just starting to hit his prime,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. “He has the ability to be a dominant player in this League and proved during the playoffs that he can take over any given game with his combination of skill and strength. His capability to play both center and the wing gives our team some flexibility, and he has one of the most infectious personalities in our dressing room. We’re excited he made this commitment to our organization.”
Hertl, 24, set a career high with 22 goals this past season while matching his career-best with 46 points. The Jagr–loving, Czech-born forward already has two 20+ goal seasons to his name. He’s generally been a strong possession player for San Jose, although his numbers were more pedestrian in that regard during the 2017-18 campaign.
This constitutes most of the in-house moves on the docket for the Sharks, although Chris Tierney is still an RFA.
As mentioned earlier, the Sharks may also consider adding another piece or two. The free agent crop is already pretty shallow, however, especially with Thornton out of this mix and Rick Nash‘s future in question.
The trade route seems especially sensible, as wingers Max Pacioretty and Jeff Skinner could make a lot of sense, even just as stopgaps for San Jose. The team is structured to win now – Thornton celebrated his 39th birthday while signing his contract – so giving up futures for a longer rental could make quite a bit of sense.
One avenue that seems unlikely but interesting may also be firing out an offer sheet.
Considering how much the Senators are pinching pennies, would Wilson be smart in sending a “poison pill” to Ottawa’s Mark Stone?
While it seems unlikely, the Sharks rank as one of the only franchises that would at least consider it. As you may recall, they deployed that tactic against the Chicago Blackhawks when they unsuccessfully targeted Niklas Hjalmarsson during the 2010 summer when they eventually got Antti Niemi. That obviously was quite a while ago, but Wilson remains in the GM seat for San Jose, so it’s at least worth mentioning.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.