One thing Blues common supervisor Doug Armstrong mentioned after the current commerce of captain Ryan O’Reilly to Toronto caught the eye of many in St. Louis.
Now, it’s caught the eye of these focused on Timo Meier’s state of affairs in San Jose.
When requested what the Blues may do with the entire draft capital they’ve acquired, Armstrong defined, “We have to retrench with gamers 25, 26 (years previous), and underneath, which have time period on their contracts, to allow them to develop with that subsequent core of gamers now we have.”
There’s a number of gamers across the NHL who match that description, however the title that jumps out instantly is Meier. The 26-year-old ahead doesn’t have that time period now, however he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer time and may very well be signed to a time period that groups just like the Blues want.
On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun confirmed that the Blues have touched base with San Jose relating to Meier, whose availability is being monitored by just a few different golf equipment as effectively.
Additional to what I used to be discussing on TSN’s Insider Buying and selling, extra on the up to date commerce marketplace for Timo Meier plus extra commerce deadline Rumblings in my newest for @TheAthletic :https://t.co/W7A6Oy83bF
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 21, 2023
The commerce match may make numerous sense for Armstrong and the Blues following the departures of O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. Whereas very costly, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound winger checks numerous containers for the kind of participant Armstrong is searching for so as to add to a younger core with Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou.
Let’s dig deep on the match. Listed here are all the large questions round Meier ending up in St. Louis.
What’s Timo Meier’s state of affairs in San Jose?
Masisak: Meier was the ninth decide in a loaded 2015 NHL draft and seemed like a sure star after producing 30 objectives and 66 factors in his second full season at 22 years previous. There was a irritating two-year dip, however Meier has established himself as among the best energy forwards within the league over the previous two seasons.
He set profession highs with 35 objectives and 76 factors in 2021-22, and he has adopted that up with a good higher marketing campaign. He has 31 objectives and 52 factors in 57 video games (that’s a 44-goal 82-game tempo) and has been a constantly dominant offensive drive regardless of drawing loads of consideration on a top-heavy roster.
Meier and the Sharks are at a crossroads, although. He’s a pending restricted free agent, enjoying out the ultimate 12 months of a four-year, $24 million contract. Whereas his cap hit is a team-friendly $6 million, Meier’s precise wage this 12 months is $10 million. Which means the Sharks or any group that acquires him should both work out a brand new contract or tender him a $10 million qualifying supply for subsequent season to maintain him from turning into an unrestricted free agent this summer time.
Past the potential for a $10 million cap hit in 2023-24 for a Sharks membership that has loads of different cap-related complications to kind by way of, that is the fourth straight season that San Jose will miss the playoffs, a franchise report for futility. And first-year common supervisor Mike Grier appears extra dedicated to a affected person rebuilding method than his predecessors.
So when can the Sharks be a contender once more? And does that match for Meier, who will probably be 27 years previous in October? San Jose doesn’t need to commerce Meier between now and the March 3 deadline. The Sharks may wait till the summer time, forward of the 2023 NHL draft, and even till the next commerce deadline. However all indicators level to Meier ending this season with a brand new membership, assuming Grier finds a commerce package deal he’s snug with.
Which different groups have an interest?
Masisak: A number of groups that made sense as Meier suitors have already swung a giant commerce. The Islanders added Bo Horvat, whereas the Rangers and Maple Leafs nabbed the Blues’ high two commerce property.
The 2 golf equipment which were most closely and constantly linked to Meier are the Devils and Hurricanes. They’re battling for the highest spot within the Metropolitan Division, and each have the property and monetary flexibility to make an attractive supply. The Devils, particularly, have the deepest assortment of younger property to deal from amongst the entire league’s contenders, although LeBrun has reported that New Jersey wish to have a contract extension in place with Meier to consummate the deal.
There have been stories suggesting the Golden Knights may very well be , as effectively, provided that Mark Stone’s contract can go on long-term injured reserve and open up the area. But it surely’s additionally fairly onerous to think about the Sharks being OK with Meier doubtlessly spending the subsequent eight-plus seasons enjoying for his or her greatest rival except the Golden Knights give you a proposal that’s simply too good to go on.
Timo Meier commerce packages: @coreypronman and I discovered just a few comparable commerce conditions and used them as a information for what the Devils and Hurricanes may supply the Sharks in a deal. https://t.co/crOLrO9QFP
— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) February 18, 2023
Does Meier make sense for St. Louis?
Rutherford: In 2015, I heard that St. Louis and San Jose put collectively a commerce that finally the Sharks pulled out of. The way in which I perceive the deal, the Sharks have been sending the Blues Tomas Hertl and the No. 9 decide within the 2015 draft, and the return from the Blues was T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk.
The explanation I carry this up now: San Jose finally used that decide to take Meier. There’s no assure the Blues would have grabbed him — Mikko Rantanen went to Colorado at No. 10 and Mathew Barzal to the Islanders at No. 16, amongst different choices — however there was an opportunity Meier may have been drafted by the Blues.
Eight years later, he makes numerous sense. As talked about, Armstrong needs so as to add to his new core, and Meier, who turns 27 in October, matches within the higher finish of his desired age vary. And after the departures of Tarasenko and O’Reilly, the Blues might want to replenish their offense. Meier, a three-time 30-goal scorer, is a confirmed commodity in that regard. Plus, he brings some physicality that the membership will doubtless be shedding if/when Ivan Barbashev is traded. Meier leads the Sharks with 112 hits this season, or 5.9 per recreation.
If the Blues introduced in Meier, who can play left or proper wing, their top-six may look one thing like:
What does San Jose need?
Masisak: There are two apparent locations to begin right here: The Blues abruptly have three first-round picks within the 2023 NHL draft. In addition they have two intriguing forwards who have been chosen within the first spherical of the previous two drafts: Zachary Bolduc and Jimmy Snuggerud.
I believe that is fairly easy at a macro stage. LeBrun has reported the Sharks need three items for Meier, with two presumed to be a high prospect and a first-round decide. One group or GM may charge these 5 property in a unique order from one other. Right here’s how I believe the Sharks would worth them:
|Sharks’ most popular commerce choices (so as)|
1. Blues’ 2023 first-round decide
2. Jimmy Snuggerud
3. (tie) New York Rangers’ and Toronto Maple Leafs’ first-round picks
5. Zachary Bolduc
That’s not a slight towards Bolduc as a lot as it’s a nod to the Sharks’ timeline. Bolduc is 2 years nearer to free company than the 2023 picks.
Clearly, the Blues wish to do a commerce for Meier and preserve their very own decide, contemplating if the season ended right now, it could both be first, second, ninth, tenth or eleventh in a powerful draft class. Conversely, that decide is one thing groups just like the Devils, Hurricanes and Golden Knights don’t have to supply.
It appears apparent that the decide would wish some stage of safety: top-two at a minimal. The fascinating a part of the negotiation could be … can the Sharks get it with simply top-two safety? Would the Blues need it to be top-nine or top-10 protected? Then, if one of many different firsts is concerned, do the Sharks get the upper or decrease of the 2? That received’t matter a ton, but when a type of groups will get knocked out early and the opposite wins the Stanley Cup, it may very well be a distinction of eight or 9 slots.
What would St. Louis be keen to surrender?
Rutherford: What Corey wrote above all is sensible from the Sharks’ perspective. In the event that they’re transferring Meier, it’s going to be a first-round decide, a high prospect and maybe extra.
What I’m wondering is that if, as an alternative of placing Snuggerud or Bolduc within the deal, the Blues supply two of their first-round picks and a lesser prospect. They’ve the No. 19-ranked prospect pool, in keeping with The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler, and people two forwards, Snuggerud and Bolduc, are Nos. 1 and a pair of on Wheeler’s listing.
Armstrong may have a fourth 2023 first-rounder quickly if groups meet his asking worth on Barbashev. If he may come away with Meier, preserve Snuggerud and Bolduc and someway nonetheless have two first-rounders within the draft, that might be a stroke of genius. However my guess is that Grier will need a type of prospects and sure Snuggerud. If that’s a deal-breaker for the Sharks, it might be a tricky name for Armstrong.
Additionally, as Corey wrote, the Blues may supply one thing different pursuers can’t, with a doubtlessly excessive first-round decide of their very own. However, sure, there must be safety on that decide in case the Blues do climb into the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.
In an ideal world, from the Blues’ perspective, they’d wish to get away with buying and selling San Jose two of their first-round picks and solely their very own if it’s not within the high 5 or so.
Within the matter of per week, Blues followers watched with disappointment as their two stars switched sweaters.
Now, @jprutherford writes, the query turns into what to do with all of that draft fairness gained from shedding Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly?https://t.co/arN3xNcpYa
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) February 20, 2023
Does a deal make sense?
Rutherford: The realm that I didn’t get into but, which is the massive elephant within the room, is Meier’s subsequent contract. In response to CapFriendly, the Blues have roughly $12.7 million in projected salary-cap area for 2023-24, and that’s with solely 14 gamers underneath contract.
The Athletic’s participant card for Meier lists him with a $10.4 million market worth. However even in case you get him for lower than that, he’s going to be a $9 million or 10 million participant per 12 months on a long-term contract. The Blues can’t afford that except they’re transferring out some cash, and who’s that going to be? There’s hypothesis that Armstrong is purchasing a defenseman, however even when he’s in a position to transfer, let’s say, Colton Parayko and his $6.5 million cap hit, that also won’t be sufficient for Meier. After which who’s changing Parayko?
Meier does make sense for the Blues, nevertheless it’s going to take a giant supply to the Sharks and numerous cap gymnastics.
Masisak: If the Sharks can get both the Blues’ first, even with top-10 safety, or Snuggerud as the primary piece, then both the Rangers’ or Leafs’ decide or Bolduc because the second piece, then it is a package deal that stacks up effectively with absolutely anything that New Jersey or Carolina can supply. And it would even trump them.
If San Jose ended up with two of the Rangers’ picks, the Leafs’ decide and Bolduc, it could be a strong deal, however the third piece would matter slightly extra and won’t match up with potential presents from different golf equipment.
If the Blues’ finest supply for Meier consists of solely one of many Rangers’ picks, the Leafs’ decide and Bolduc, plus another issues, then Grier is both going to commerce him elsewhere … or he’s going to want to promote his fanbase on how that was one of the best supply out there.
(Picture of Timo Meier and Colton Parayko: Jeff Curry / USA At this time)