Tomas Hertl's uncertain future with the San Jose Sharks has already made him the subject of trade speculation with training camp approaching. The latest conjecture suggests the 27-year-old center could be a good fit with the Boston Bruins.
Boston Hockey Now's Joe Haggerty took note of the Bruins' intention to use Charlie Coyle to replace the departed David Krejci as their second-line center. Haggerty believes Hertl would be better suited for that role.
It's uncertain if Hertl and the Sharks will reach an agreement on a contract extension before his unrestricted free agent eligibility next July. There's no indication he wants out or that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is listening to trade offers.
Acquiring Hertl could be expensive. The Athletic's Kevin Kurz believes Wilson could seek a first-round pick and at least one high-profile prospect center or defenseman already NHL-ready or one that could be within a year or two.
The Bruins could attempt to land Hertl if he becomes available later this season. Haggerty suggested offering up a first-rounder and center Jack Studnicka as the centerpiece for Hertl, envisioning him signing with the Bruins.
Landing Hertl and keeping him in Boston could prove easier said than done. The Bruins might not be on his three-team list of trade destinations. If he accepts a trade to Boston there's no certainty he won't test the free-agent market in July.
Cap Friendly shows the Bruins with over $60 million invested in 16 players with Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk due for new contracts. Taking on Hertl and re-signing him means shedding salary to make the dollars fit. Teams carrying more trade assets and cap space could outbid the Bruins for his services.