“I’m told that Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks has risen to the very top of their list,” Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff said when talking about the New York Rangers and their desire to add ahead of this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. The Rangers are playing solid hockey of late, and have been rumored to be interested in players like Patrick Kane and other potential rentals, but Meier has struck their fancy as the Sharks offload as deadline sellers.
Interestingly, Meier is not a pending UFA. He’s set to be a restricted free agent, which means the Rangers are looking at signing him to an extension. Also interesting is that he’s due a qualifying offer of $10 million, as the player has arbitration rights. Clearly, the Rangers see him as someone they will build their offense around and not just a rental. If they get him on a max-term deal, somewhere around $8.5 million per season, they’ll have a proven scorer on their roster, one who is still young and has most of his prime years left to play.
The next question is what they’re willing to give up in the trade.
It will take a first-round pick, a top young player, and a prospect to land Meier, all of which the Rangers have. In fact, they have an extra first-round pick thanks to a deal that sent Nils Lundqvist to the Dallas Stars. All that said, the Rangers have some pretty important contracts coming up that need attention. Among them, Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, Filip Chytil, and Vitali Kravtsov all ned news deals this summer. Even if one of them (Lafreniere) is moved in a Meier trade, that’s still potentially too many players and not enough cap space.
Perhaps the Rangers are better off not trying to acquire someone that needs to be signed to a monster deal in order to get the best value out of the deal. That is unless their plan is to flip Meier in the summertime, which creates new challenges of trying to deal for someone with a $10 million qualifying offer in his back pocket.
Patrick Kane might be the better fit, but if the Rangers are sold that Meier is their guy, their offseason will become a fascinating storyline worth watching.
Next: Talks of Bruins Exploring Bo Horvat Trade Picking Up
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