NHL Rumors: Timo Meier is Sharks bait, Blues need to trade Vince Dunn before expansion, and COVID forfeits in Playoffs?

Apr 24, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier (28) passes the puck during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks are not making the playoffs. They also need to figure out how to handle the upcoming expansion draft and see if they can sweeten their way into getting the Seattle Kraken to take a high salaried player off their hands. That aside, a certain player who should be leading the charge on a youth movement is faltering. So is time to move on from Timo Meier?

Will the Sharks consider trading Timo Meier?

Meier is 24 years-old and was expected to take the next step forward this season. Back in 2019, San Jose inked him to a four-year deal worth $24 million after a 30 goal and 66 point season. He followed it up with a 22 goal and 49 point campaign in eight less games. A decline for sure, but not alarming until you look at his 28 points in 47 games this year.

Do the Sharks attempt to gain some cap space and try to sell him off on his age and upside? According to Kevin Kurz he doesn’t think too many GM’s would be interested.

As for Meier, who has a measly nine goals in 46 games this season, he carries a salary-cap hit of $6 million through 2022-23. But that’s deceiving, because he’s set to make $10 million in actual dollars in the final year of his deal. It’s doubtful that general managers around the league are going to be lining up to acquire a guy who has trouble breaking the 20-goal plateau in a full season and is set to make an eight-figure salary — which will have to be matched as a qualifying offer in the 2023 offseason when he becomes a restricted free agent.

The Athletic

The smart move is to hold on to Meier hoping he finds his scoring ways again. Maybe bringing in some new players could help as well. One thing is certain, the Sharks are going to be busy this offseason with Meier no sure thing to remain.

Blues need to trade Vince Dunn or risk losing him to Seattle in expansion

vince dunn
Mar 16, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn (29) reacts after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Vince Dunn was at the top of the trade rumor mill for awhile last season. The Blues eventually opted not to trade him even though he was being shopped and offers were made. Now St. Louis is going to be in a pickle as best stated by Rory Boylen at Sportsnet.

The question here revolves around one big decision on the blue line. Assuming Colton Parayko, Torey Krug and Justin Faulk will be protected, that leaves Vince Dunn hanging in the balance. Protect him and you’re going to expose a few forwards who would provide the Kraken with a range of choice. Leave him unprotected, and you’re surrendering a 24-year-old quality puck mover who is an RFA this off-season.

Sportsnet

So do the Blues go the eight skaters route instead of protecting 7 forwards, and 3 defenseman only to risk losing maybe a David Perron? That is an option, but they would likely be better off trading Dunn to a team looking for help on the blue line with an ability to protect him. Hey, I do recall the Rangers were in on Dunn and with Tony DeAngelo exiled they would easily protect him over Libor Hajek.

NHL serious about COVID rules

In the wake of the Robin Lehner controversy over COVID vaccines and protocols, the NHL made some things abundantly clear at the Board of Governors meetings. Simply put, the protocols aren’t going to ease for the playoffs and the consequences are serious if you break them.

During Monday’s Board of Governors’ meeting, Bettman made it very clear there would be serious consequences for post-season COVID outbreaks resulting from not following protocols. A couple of governors were left with the impression that if a team could not finish a series, it might have to forfeit.

Elliotte Friedman, 31 Thoughts