It’s unclear when Meier sustained the injury, though Meier has been listed as day-to-day. Meier did not participate in the team’s practice today, and Quinn notes he’s questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Seattle Kraken.
However, the most notable factor surrounding Meier’s absence is his status as the top trade target remaining before the March 3 trade deadline.
The 25-year-old Swiss forward has been an important part of the Sharks’ offense this season, scoring 31 goals and 21 assists in 57 games. With names such as Bo Horvat, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ryan O’Reilly now off the trade board, Meier, a pending restricted free agent, is the best forward available on the trade market.
According to various reports, the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes are leading candidates to acquire Meier. Both teams need a top-six forward to counter the New York Rangers’ — their divisional rivals — move to add Tarasenko. The Toronto Maple Leafs are out of the picture after acquiring O’Reilly, but the Winnipeg Jets have also had reported interest in the Sharks sniper.
Meier is expected to generate a large return for the Sharks, and his status as a trade asset is more important than his on-ice benefit to the team at this point in the season. San Jose is just six points ahead of the last-place Chicago Blackhawks.
Hopefully, Meier’s absence is very short-term, which won’t affect his trade value. While it’s never easy to trade a talented player like Meier, it’s a move that could help the Sharks in the long run. Acquiring assets that can help them in the future is a necessary step to building a sustainable contender.