The Timo Meier-to-New Jersey train has been gathering speed for the last few weeks. It seems like a perfect fit, and now with the New York Islanders and New York Rangers both loading up with Bo Horvat and Vladimir Tarasenko respectively, the Devils might have to keep pace.
Today, though, on the 32 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman suggested that two other teams could be involved in Meier trade talks. The first, which shouldn’t surprise many, is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Friedman noted that Kyle Dubas’ recent comments about not spending high picks and prospects were contingent on the term “rentals,” which, technically, Meier isn’t. The San Jose Sharks forward has a $10MM qualifying offer this offseason and has reportedly been open to potentially signing an extension wherever he lands, should it make sense.
One guy said to me that there are teams out there thinking that Toronto, at the very least have considered: ’do we go get Meier for this run, and then sort it out later.’ Basically punt the decision to the summer.
Toronto isn’t the only one, though. Friedman notes there are a number of Eastern Conference teams after Meier and at least a few from the West. One of those is the Winnipeg Jets, apparently, who Friedman has also heard about in regard to Meier. With a new coaching staff the Jets look like a lock for the playoffs again and could even still compete for the Central Division crown with a good stretch run. With Blake Wheeler coming off the cap after the 2023-24 season, they’ll also have some flexibility in terms of a long-term extension if they were to land the star winger.
Almost everything surrounding Meier right now is speculative, though. The Sharks appear ready to wait out the market and make sure they get the biggest haul possible, and for a good reason. The 26-year-old Meier is a legitimate difference-maker, who already has 30 goals this season and can drive a line by himself. You don’t always have a chance to acquire in-their-prime assets at the deadline, especially not forwards that can play 20 minutes a night.
If Toronto and Winnipeg do get involved, it won’t be an easy bidding war. Things are set up to be quite beneficial for the Sharks, even if they are selling off a beloved homegrown star.