NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils serious contender for Timo Meier trade
The New Jersey Devils are a team on the rise and they’re eyeing one of the bigger names in the trade market, Timo Meier.
With the San Jose Sharks in the process of a rebuild/retool at this time, Meier would be a valuable asset to move. The return should be a king’s ransom considering he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, giving the acquiring team likely one more year of his services.
Meier, 26, is having a great season with 28 goals, 48 points in 49 games and is not a pure rental. Many of the top contenders have cap issues heading into next season and Meier’s $10 million qualifying offer is a hurdle they can’t overcome.
That won’t be an issue for the Devils, who are looking to add a top six winger to their lineup for this season and beyond.
New Jersey Devils eyeing Timo Meier
Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald spoke with The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun revealing he believes the team is a year ahead in their development. Keeping that in mind, he’s willing to improve this season but not with your typical trade deadline UFA rentals.
“If it’s possible, I’d like to add a top-six winger,” Fitzgerald said candidly. “And I’d like to be able to control the player (past this season) and grow. I’d be willing to give up assets to do that, and I’ve got to know, ‘What does that look like?’”The Athletic (Subscription Required)
On TSN’s Insider Trading, LeBrun took it a step further and identified Meier as the player fitting that description.
“Obviously, he wouldn’t say names. You can’t do that, that would be tampering. But let me be the person that reads between the lines and says that Timo Meier would fit exactly what the Devils are looking for,” LeBrun said. “I think Meier fits that description and the Devils will certainly investigate that possibility.”
Earlier in the week, David Pagnotta of TFP mentioned several teams looking at a potential trade for Meier.
“The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers are among the teams interested in acquiring him, though several other clubs have also reached out,” Pagnotta said. “The Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres are also speculated to have various levels of interest.”
Of all the teams mentioned, the Devils make the most sense because they have the assets and cap space to acquire Meier. They also have the motivation of giving center Jack Hughes an elite winger to play with that can create room on the ice for his wizardry.
Another intriguing factor that makes the Devils a prime landing spot is Meier’s agent Claude Lemieux. During his playing days, he made a name for himself wearing that sweater.
One thing is clear, no team is going to give the Sharks the assets they are looking for without permission to speak with Meier’s camp about a contract extension.