Bold Prediction #2: Neither Jesper Bratt nor Timo Meier Signs for Eight Years
This one might not be bold, but it really feels bold. Both Jesper Bratt and Timo Meier are looking for insane paydays this offseason. Timo Meier has a $10 million qualifying offer. Jesper Bratt has already had two very rough negotiations with Tom Fitzgerald. Devils fans are preparing for a long summer, but they believe it’s with a plan to sign both players to as many years as possible. The one advantage the Devils have, outside of owning the rights for both players, is they can sign them to eight years instead of seven for normal free agents.
Yet, neither Bratt nor Meier will sign for the maximum amount of years. They both have very different reasons to keep the contract shorter than the max.
Let’s start with Meier. That qualifying offer gives him a huge advantage in negotiations. Good on his agent getting the San Jose Sharks to sign that awful contract (great for him, bad for the team). So, why would a player coming off a 40-goal season sign for eight years at less than $10 million when he’s just 26 years old? Six years seems like the most likely option at around $8.5 million or maybe a little more.
Fitzgerald and Bratt are going to hate doing this again. They’ve done this rigamarole twice now, and it’s going to be three times this summer. Bratt wants to cash in on his huge regular season, but Fitzgerald will obviously point to his less-than-stellar postseason. There’s no way this ends in an eight-year deal where everyone is happy. This feels like a five-year deal all the way.