NHL Rumour Report: Tomas Hertl frontrunners emerge

Few forwards would be more highly sought after at the deadline, but is he on the market?

- A decision looms for San Jose Sharks management in the coming days. Tomas Hertl remains without a contract beyond this season, and management will have to pivot quickly if extension talks sour. With the Sharks poised to be sellers at the trade deadline, several teams are keeping tabs.

- Reports suggest Hertl's camp is playing hardball and has shown no signs of taking a hometown discount. Perhaps Hertl wants a fresh start or is eager to see what's out there in the market in July. This game of chicken could come down to the (chicken)wire on March 21st.

- Among the teams eagerly waiting to make formal offers are the Rangers, Bruins and Avalanche. The Sharks don't appear ready to listen to proposals just yet, but they'll be forced to open that door in the next few days if things don't get moving.
- If made available, Hertl would arguably become the top forward on the trade deadline market alongside the likes of Claude Giroux, JT Miller and Brock Boeser. We won't know the full list of Hertl contenders until San Jose opens up a formal auction, but many of the contenders for those elite forwards - such as the Blues, Panthers, Leafs and Hurricanes - could foreseeably end up in the bidding war.
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