Three potential trade destinations for Tomas Hertl if the Sharks decide to trade him

Jan 20, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Jan Rutta (84) is congratulated
Jan 20, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Jan Rutta (84) is congratulated / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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Tomas Hertl is reportedly having conversations about the future of the San Jose Sharks organization and wondering if he is being viewed as part of the answer to rebuild this great teal empire. At the age of 30 and signed long term for a lot of money, Hertl is not in the right stage of his career to endure a rebuld. He needs to be competing and it does feel like the Sharks are not going to be near that for a long time.

The flipside of Hertl's term is that teams will pay more knowing he will be there for the foreseeable future, and this might be the best time to trade Hertl. With Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan already on new teams, the already-thin market at the center position is weaker than ever, and the desperation of the teams that missed out on the two larger targets may shift to players with term, even if the fit is less than ideal at the time.

Teams exploring the center market will be looking to try and find a way to make their team better if it means that they can get to the Stanley Cup and add a banner to the rafters, since this is what every team wants to do. Even the San Jose Sharks are trying to build for the future where they want to win the Stanley Cup with a new core. It's important that teams remember the goal, even when times are dark in the land of hockey.

With that in mind, who could be interested in the Czech forward, if Mike Grier does choose to make him available? Well, let's have a look. What teams have the need for a center that could do with a long term solution in that position and are in a position to use assets to address it at the trade deadline? It rules out teams like the Chicago Blackhawks who are deep in a rebuild like the Sharks.