Updated: Sep 16
Tomas Hertl went on record with IDNES.CZ this week on everything that has been surrounding the San Jose Sharks organization this offseason. From trade rumors to the publicity following Evander Kane, Hertl's interview finally provides Sharks fans with answers coming right from the source instead of the leading tabloids that have surfaced via "insiders" this summer. (Please note that the interview provided below was translated from Czech to English using Google Translate).
Tomas Hertl on his future with the San Jose Sharks
I have it in me that I want to win. Some teams may offer you a great deal, but you won't win anything with it. You can take less somewhere but the team can do something. Look at Landeskog. He wanted to stay in Colorado where he sees the future. He took a smaller contract, although he could theoretically get better money elsewhere.
Hertl on recent headlines suggesting he is subject to be on the trade block
It is reported by journalists that the San Jose club would receive the highest value for me. Nothing like that comes from the management.
Hertl on Evander Kane's reportedly off-ice issues and how Kane has handled it
I admit that I probably wouldn't be able to come to the cabin with such problems. Maybe I wouldn't even get out of bed. More players would probably tell you, but he did it and he had a really good season. But I wouldn't want to do more. It's his business.
Hertl on San Jose's chances of winning a Stanley Cup escaping them
One must not think about it. The team is still full of players who have played the Finals - Burns, Vlasic, Me, Couture. Once the season starts, I will fight for the playoffs, even if I have 19 new teammates. I don't just want to participate. Even boys during training camp can confirm that I can't lose.
Hertl mentioned that he is not sure that the San Jose Sharks are interested in re-signing him or if he wants to remain a Shark, understandably so as he obviously wants to win a Stanley Cup and the Sharks seem to be favoring a rebuild (currently labeled as a "reset", perhaps to prevent an even bigger hit to ticket sales) while making it clear (or at least the media is) that every big contract is subject to a departure from the Bay Area.
He also mentioned how Joe Thornton is using a similar strategy to get his name on the Cup and recognizes how "luck" plays a factor citing that Jumbo Joe and Patrick Marleau have been in the league so long without winning it all.
Hertl also did not shy away from recognizing his worth and the need for a top centerman in the NHL despite stating that he does not want to put too much thought into whether or not he will continue his career in Pacific Teal.
For some Sharks fans, the thought of one of the faces of the franchise leaving for greener pastures can be interpreted as a sign of dissatisfaction with the locker room dynamic. For others, it is just another sign of the inevitable push for submitting fans into accepting a rebuild, such as talks of cutting ties with the best players (big contracts), a gameplan that looks like it is groomed for securing the best draft picks, not signing a legitimate coach, and so on.
Sharks fans can only hope for two outcomes this season: The Sharks "turn it around" and become a playoff contender after two seasons being cut short by the pandemic and a full camp under Bob Boughner's system or the Sharks ownership makes an effort to be accountable for the horrible hockey, cut ties with the bench boss, and find somebody to lead the team into a playoff spot before the season ends. For Sharks fans, missing the postseason 3 years in a row is not acceptable.
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