The recent trades of Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders and Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers indicate that business is picking up in the NHL trade market. With the March 3 deadline fast approaching, speculation is growing over the potential destinations for the other notable trade candidates.
Most of the media rumor chatter is focused on Timo Meier. The 26-year-old San Jose Sharks winger sits atop our February NHL Trade Block Big Board. A skillful scoring forward, he enjoyed a career-best 76 points in 2021-22. He's on pace to reach that total again this season with 30 goals and 51 points in 53 games.
A restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1, Meier is also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His annual average value on his current contract is $6 million but he's earning $10 million in actual salary. That's how much it will cost the Sharks to qualify his rights unless he and the club agree to a new contract by June 30.
With the Sharks mired near the bottom of the NHL standings, they could be poised for a roster rebuild under first-year general manager Mike Grier. A scorer like Meier in his playing prime would fetch a solid return, especially if the acquiring team can sign him to a contract extension as part of the deal.
On Feb. 10, TSN's Chris Johnston reported the Sharks are seeking "three pieces", one of which could be a first-round draft pick. He thinks the secondary pieces must be better than the third-round pick, a prospect defenseman and a veteran winger (Sammy Blais) that the Blues received as part of the return from the Rangers for Tarasenko.
Johnston believes a Meier trade could happen quickly. He said the market for top-six forwards is drying up and whatever team acquires the winger will want time to speak with his agent about a new contract. As the trade rumors buzz, here's our take on the five potential landing spots for Meier.
Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Is there a club that should or shouldn't be on this list? Let us know in the comments sections below.
After finishing last season atop the Pacific Division standings, the Calgary Flames are battling this season for the conference's final wild-card berth. Last summer's departures of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk depleted their offense, leaving them in danger of missing the postseason.
In a Feb. 7 interview with NHL.com's Aaron Vickers, Flames general manager Brad Treliving said he'd like to add a forward. While he said that could come internally, call-up forward Jakob Pelletier has yet to dent the scoresheet.
The Flames need an established scorer like Timo Meier. He could help offseason acquisition Jonathan Huberdeau regain his missing offensive spark. Meier also wouldn't be a rental player if Treliving can re-sign him, though doing so would mean shedding salary. The Flames only have $1 million in projected cap space for next season.
With $4.4 million in projected deadline cap space, the Flames can afford to squeeze in the remainder of Meier's cap hit but would likely get the Sharks to retain part of it. They could bundle up Pelletier with a first-round pick along with a prospect such as forward Connor Zary or goaltender Dustin Wolf in a package offer to San Jose.