Timo Meier is possibly the most intriguing name on the trade market at this point. He is one of a handful of San Jose Sharks likely on the trade block as the team will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season. The price for the winger will be high, but someone with his play style will have a huge impact on the offense of whichever team he joins.
Meier is a high-event player. He shoots, hits, scores, and passes with the best of them. He is currently in the third 30-goal season of his career and second straight season hovering around a point per game pace with 52 points in 55 games thus far. With a 100 shot lead over second place, he leads the Sharks with 249 shots (averaging about 4.5 per game) and is second in the entire league. He also leads the team in hits, recording 109.
There is an interesting caveat for the team acquiring Meier, however. His qualifying offer. He is a pending RFA this offseason, but because of the way his current contract is structured, being incredibly backloaded, his qualifying offer for the team that acquires him is $10 million. If they wish to retain his RFA rights, that is. Now his actual contract might be lower, should he agree to something separately, but a player with his statline is likely to command at least $8.5 million on a long-term deal.
The market for the Sharks’ winger will be heating up soon as teams want to make this add quickly. Here are a few possible destinations for a Timo Meier trade at the deadline.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils are probably the favourite to land Meier at this point. The Devils are a surprise playoff team this season, though not without their own struggles, and have plenty of space in their lineup. They desperately need depth scoring, especially with Jack Hughes out long-term due to injury.
Meier would immediately slot in on the team’s top line, likely alongside Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt, and eventually Hughes. An interesting parallel between his current team and the prospect of joining the Devils is that, while no one compares to what Erik Karlsson can do in terms of creating offense, New Jersey has Dougie Hamilton on the back-end able to provide a similar dynamic.
The price for Meier from the Devils would be high. Starting at a prospect and a pick, Alexander Holtz would be a leading candidate to head back to the Sharks. As well as someone like Andreas Johnsson (with the Sharks retaining the difference) to make the cap space work.
Another team that is a surprise playoff contender is the Seattle Kraken. Currently, in their second season, the Kraken already have one of the deepest teams in the league in terms of scoring depth. But what they don’t have is a star forward or point-per-game player. Despite having 14 players with 20 or more points, their leading scorers, Jordan Eberle and Vince Dunn, have 40 points in 54 games.
The addition of a player like Meier, who would immediately be the team’s leading scorer, would add another element to the team’s game and give them a bit more of a physical, dangerous play driver come playoff time.
The tricky part for the Kraken is putting together a package worthwhile for the Sharks to take. The Kraken don’t have a very deep prospect pool. It begins with Shane Wright and falls a long way down after that to Jagger Firkus. Combining that with whatever draft picks the Sharks would want would be a tough sell to Kraken’s front office.
Vegas Golden Knights
Look, if there is a trade rumour including a high profile player, the Vegas Golden Knights are probably kicking tires on it. The potential Timo Meier trade is no exception.
The Golden Knights have had a bit of a bounceback year this season and, despite some recent struggles, are contending for the Pacific Division lead. However, they have recently learned that their top winger, Mark Stone, is out long-term due to injury and may not be seen again this season.
What this does for the Golden Knights is allow them to put Stone on LTIR and add Meier (and his cap hit) with relative ease. He would likely be a rental, as fitting his next contract under the cap would likely not be doable. But if Vegas wants to take advantage of their competitive status this season and try to win while they can still ice a strong roster, a big play for the Sharks’ winger may be in the books.
The Golden Knights do not have much in the way of top tier prospects at this point, but they do have all of their first round picks over the next few seasons. Any package Vegas puts together for Meier would need to include at least one of these, in addition to one of their better prospects like Brendan Brisson.
Those are three teams that may be frontrunners in a Timo Meier trade. Where else might he end up? Drop a comment down below!
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