While bridge contracts for impact players have been utilized less and less lately, the Sharks are among the teams that still use them with players like Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl being among those to get one. In discussing the future of RFA winger Timo Meier, GM Doug Wilson noted to Chelena Goldman of NBC Sports Bay Area that they’ve had a lot of success with that strategy, hinting that they could do so again with Meier:
Keeping everyone together is a challenge of our cap system. But I think it’s one of the reasons why we’re so loyal to our own players and young guys who have come up through the system – they know how we try to treat them.
We historically have had players who have benefitted playing with really good players who understand to keep a group together, we’ve done bridge contracts. I’ve had conversations with his agent and Timo certainly understands how everybody’s been treated, and we’ll treat him well.
With the Sharks also needing to get defenseman Erik Karlsson and Joe Pavelski re-signed this summer and over $58MM in commitments on the books already, a bridge deal for Meier would likely be a necessity if the two veterans are brought back. If not, it seems as if Wilson may still pursue a short-term contract with the 22-year-old who had a breakout third season with 66 points in 78 games.
Elsewhere out West:
- With the Blackhawks looking to shake things up this summer, Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago suggests that center Artem Anisimov is someone that could be on the move this offseason. His partial no-trade clause expires at the end of June and while his $4.55MM cap hit is on the expensive side, he’s owed just $5MM in total salary over the final two years of the deal after a $2MM bonus is paid on July 1st. While the 31-year-old has dipped below the 40-point mark in each of the last two seasons, he should still be of interest to several teams around the league this offseason.
- Blues head coach Craig Berube indicated that center Robert Thomas is a possibility to return to the lineup tomorrow, TSN’s Frank Seravalli relays (Twitter link). The rookie missed Wednesday’s game against Boston with an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, Berube is unsure about defenseman Vince Dunn’s availability. He has been out since being hit with the puck in the face in the third game of the Western Conference Final.