Thursday, June 13 2024

Sharks’ locker room ‘somber’ after blockbuster Hertl trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Sharks players weren’t in the mood for hockey on Friday.

Mike Grier and Co. kept busy at the noon PT NHL trade deadline, and Sharks players felt the brunt of it afterward.

San Jose made a series of moves at the deadline, but none hurt more than saying goodbye to Sharks fan favorite Tomáš Hertl, who was shipped to the rival Vegas Golden Knights.

Sharks coach David Quinn described the locker room as “somber” after Hertl’s departure, and turned practice into an optional skate day. But when he asked his players if they wanted to hit the ice, no one raised their hand.

The sting in the locker room echoed among Sharks fans around the world, not just to see one of their favorite players leave, but to see him join a rival team.

Grier said he understands the frustration felt by fans but had to take a long-term look at things and make a decision that was best for the organization’s future.

“Tomáš got to the point this year where he felt like he’d like a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” Grier told reporters Friday. “Obviously, we’re still in the phase of kind of rebuilding this thing. Years away.”

A 2012 first-round draft pick, Hertl became an instant fan favorite in San Jose. In 712 games over 11 seasons with the Sharks, Hertl racked up 218 goals and 266 assists.

“There’s no better person to play with than Tommy,” Quinn said, “and he has been the face of the franchise here for a while now and it hurts, it hurts and there’s a lot of emotional people.”

In return for Hertl, the Sharks received 2023 first-round draft pick David Edstrom and the Golden Knights‘ 2025 first-round draft pick, which is unprotected. San Jose also sent a 2025 third-round draft pick and a 2027 third-round draft pick to Vegas and retained 17 percent of the six years remaining on Hertl’s contract.

Hertl wearing a Golden Knights jersey will take some getting used to, but the Sharks eventually will have to get back to action as they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at SAP Center.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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