Timo Meier – San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are in a strange space this offseason. They still have a ton of veterans on this roster, but they seem nowhere close to playoff contention in an increasingly competitive Pacific Division. With Los Angeles making the playoffs ahead of schedule, the Vegas Golden Knights likely going shopping this offseason, the Oilers and Flames finding their footing as constant playoff contenders, and the Canucks and Kraken looking to make moves to get back into the conversation, this leaves the Sharks in a strange space.
Despite the issues with the Sharks, they only have a little over $5 million in cap space this offseason. With that $5 million, they have to re-sign Mario Ferraro (who makes us sad because he was the player they got in the Mirco Mueller trade), and they have to upgrade the roster. They have a lot of young players on the roster, so there is hope to get out of this, but it only gets harder the next season.
That’s because Timo Meier’s contract has a similar trajectory as Tkachuk’s. He’s going to make $10 million dollars next season in pure cash. That means his next qualifying offer is $10 million. The Devils, or whatever team ends up with Timo Meier, has to deal with a very intense final year of his deal. If the Devils give up the second-overall pick for Meier, can they really avoid giving him that $10 million deal?
It’s obviously a risk in terms of the deal, but Meier has a ton of chemistry with Nico Hischier already. Getting Hischier a winger would be huge. If the Devils have a Penguins-type approach to this where they just try to find the best fits for their top-two centers, and they don’t care who is traditionally their “top” line, then this trade makes a lot of sense.