SAN JOSE -- City officials were caught off guard Tuesday by a report that troubled Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) wants to scrape its name from the home of the San Jose Sharks hockey team, but said they'd have little trouble finding a new corporate sponsor and name for HP Pavilion.

"It's a world-class facility and excellently run, so we'd expect a lot of companies around the world would be interested in future naming-rights opportunities," said Leland Wilcox, an assistant to City Manager Debra Figone.

Like other city officials, Wilcox was unaware of any talks about an early end to HP's agreement. But a source told this newspaper that a new agreement is under discussion for renaming HP Pavilion, which is more popularly known to NHL fans as the "Shark Tank." The source did not say who those talks were with.

Any changes would need to be approved by the City Council.

In 2002, HP acquired Compaq and the naming rights to the former Compaq Center. It pays $3.25 million a year for that privilege, and the payments are split between the city of San Jose, which owns the building, and the hockey team.

HP Pavilion is named after the company's suite of laptops, PCs and printers, and the agreement runs through 2015. But the influential tech blog AllThingsD, citing unnamed sources, reported Tuesday that HP CEO Meg Whitman wants out of the deal as early as this summer.

According to the report, German-based software giant SAP is interested in the naming rights. Hasso Plattner, the Sharks majority owner, founded SAP.

Plattner and SAP did not respond to requests for comment. HP declined to comment, as did Sharks spokesman Jim Sparaco.

Mayor Chuck Reed's spokeswoman, Michelle McGurk, said in a note to council members that there have been no talks about changing the name.

"City staff has not met with the other parties so far, so there is nothing to report at this time," McGurk wrote to council members in response to media inquiries. "However, we know that the arena is an outstanding facility, and we have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with both the Sharks and HP. Without speculating where this might go, we're optimistic that we will be able to end up in a position of mutual benefit for everyone."

The money that HP still owes on its agreement is dwarfed by much bigger financial troubles for the storied technology giant.

After spending $11 billion for the British software firm Autonomy in 2011, Palo Alto-based HP recently announced it had been misled about the deal and wrote down Autonomy's value by $8.8 billion. It also has taken fire for writing off $8 billion for its 2008 purchase of Electronic Data Systems and nearly $1 billion for its 2010 acquisition of Palm.

HP also recently announced that it will get rid of 29,000 jobs over the next few years to rein in expenses.

But Wall Street analysts have continued to criticize HP for being unfocused as sales have flattened and profits and stock prices continue to slump.

Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research believes Wall Street would welcome an early end to HP's naming rights.

"Analysts will view it positively," Chowdhry said. "These are spoiled, rich-boy interests that HP cannot afford to have. It doesn't make sense for HP to have their name on that building because it doesn't add value to their company. If you are doing extremely well, you can throw money around and do everything in the world. But HP has to focus No. 1 on its customers, No. 2 on its products and No. 3 on its employees. Once HP has fixed itself, when they are profitable, then they can have these side diversions."

HP Pavilion is among the city-owned sports venues overseen by the San Jose Arena Authority, which also has responsibility for San Jose Municipal Stadium, home of minor league baseball's San Jose Giants, as well as Sharks Ice at San Jose, the team's practice facility.

The Arena Authority meets Wednesday at City Hall but there is nothing on the agenda regarding naming rights for HP Pavilion.

The authority's executive director, Chris Morrisey, said he was unaware of any HP effort to get out of its agreement, and added that it would be up to HP to raise the issue.

"We've not started a discussion," Morrisey said. "That's a business decision they'd have to make. There's a whole process in place for that to happen."

Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.