The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline is March 3 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and the San Jose Sharks are definitely a seller with the franchise in full rebuild mode. In fact, leading goal scorer and 26-year-old forward Timo Meier is considered iffy for tonight’s home game against Seattle because Meier is slightly banged up but there’s also chatter a trade for him is close, so the Sharks won’t risk it.
NHL Rumors: Sharks Leading Goal Scorer Timo Meier May Have Played Final Game With Team
Seattle Kraken vs San Jose Sharks
When: Monday, February 20, 2023
Where: SAP Center at San Jose
Time: 4:00 PM EST
Meier, 26, has 31 goals and 52 points in 57 games with the Sharks this season. He leads the Sharks in goals and power-play goals (13), and ranks second to Erik Karlsson in points. He also leads all forwards on San Jose in average ice time (19:59). Meier is just four goals shy of the career-high 35 he scored last season, thanks to notching 11 in 19 games since Jan. 1.
While Meier’s combination of skill and size (6’1″, 220 pounds) is sure to attract teams from around the league, his $10 million qualifying offer might scare off even more would-be suitors. Meier is a pending restricted free agent with just one year left on his clock before he can hit the open market. The New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Winnipeg Jets are potential suitors.
As of last week, the Sharks had not yet given permission to other teams to start negotiating a long-term pact with Meier. The Rangers reportedly had an interest in Meier and thought the price tag was too steep. The Rangers went ahead and acquired forward Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues for a conditional first-round pick this year, a conditional fourth-rounder next year, and two players, including winger Sammy Blais.
The Toronto Maple Leafs filled the void in their forward group last week, acquiring Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from St. Louis in a three-team trade that saw the Leafs part with their 2023 first-round draft pick. The Leafs looked into Meier but also thought the price was too high.
Meier is dealing with an upper-body injury and in Meier’s place at practice on Sunday, the Sharks used defensemen Radim Simek and Nick Cicek on a line with Tomas Hertl and Nick Bonino, speaking to the last-minute nature of whatever the star winger is dealing with.
Sharks general manager Mike Grier said that if no trade for Meier or All-Star defenseman Karlsson materializes, San Jose is more than willing to keep both players moving forward. Karlsson has 74 points (18 goals, 56 assists) on the year, including a 7-19-26 stat line on the power play.
San Jose enters at 17-29-11 and on a three-game skid following a 4-2 home loss to Buffalo on Saturday. Evgeny Svechnikov and Alexander Barabanov scored for the Sharks. Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves. James Reimer will start in net Monday. He has posted one win in his past nine (1-5-3) outings and has allowed 36 goals on 291 shots during that span. Reimer has a record of 8-14-6 this season with a 3.31 GAA and an .895 save percentage.
Seattle could be in the Meier market as the Kraken are battling Vegas, the LA Kings and Edmonton for the Pacific Division title.
The Kraken enter tonight’s game on a two-game winning streak. When Kraken forward Eeli Tolvanen’s scored Saturday’s insurance goal in the home win against Detroit, Seattle is now the first team this season to have at least 11 different players score at least 10 goals for the team. Tolvanen has 12 goals on the year, with two scored when he was with Nashville. Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist in the win. With multiple points in three of his last four games, Eberle is in fine form on the top line. The winger is up to 13 tallies, 45 points — his highest total since 2017-18 — 120 shots on net and a plus-4 rating through 56 contests.
Seattle routed visiting San Jose 8-5 on Nov. 23 in the lone meeting this season. The Kraken got goals from a franchise-high seven players. Jaden Schwartz was the only one with two. Meier had a hat trick in the losing effort.
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