Tomas Hertl focused on helping Sharks, not contract negotiations

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Hertl focused on helping Sharks, not contract negotiations originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Sharks center Tomas Hertl is not worried about his future with the franchise. 

However, as contract negotiations inevitably unfold, Hertl doesn't seem the least bit worried. 

"We'll see when I get there for camp and stuff, we'll see if we get some talks," Hertl told NHL.com's, Tracey Myers. "If not, I'm not worried. I'm just going to play the best hockey and not think about it, because if you're overthinking or [thinking] this is my contract year, I have to score goals because it'll help. 

"For me, it doesn't matter because I think I've proven I can be a good player, I've shown I can be a leader and I just want to do that and not think about my next deal."

The 27-year-old has spent all eight seasons with San Jose after being drafted 17th overall in the 2012 draft. 

In the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2018, Hertl is focused on maintaining his leadership role entering the 2021-22 season. 

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"I'm not thinking about what will happen next season, will the Sharks extend me or if they don't want me there. I'm just going to play my best hockey and help my teammates," Hertl said at the NHL Media Tour. "We have a lot of young guys, so I want to help them and just show them how 'Jumbo' Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski showed me how to be in the League, how to be a leader, how to play in the NHL."

After missing the playoffs the previous two seasons, Hertl is focused on helping the Sharks return to being one of the better teams in the Western Conference.