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REPORT: Friedman Squashes Meier Trade Rumor, Says Sharks “Like” Dvorak

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Elliotte Friedman squashed one San Jose Sharks trade rumor and started another in today’s 31 Thoughts podcast.

“I heard some rumblings about Timo Meier and New Jersey,” Friedman shared. “Those were flatly denied to me. Someone said you’re way off, don’t go down that road.”

Per San Jose Hockey Now’s sources, other NHL teams aren’t generally enamored with Meier’s contract. The 24-year-old winger has two years left at a $6 million dollar AAV and is coming off consecutive disappointing campaigns.

Instead, Friedman connected the San Jose Sharks with another young forward.

25-year-old Christian Dvorak is two years into a six-year, $26.7 million contract. That’s a $4.45 million cap hit.

The Arizona Coyotes are rebuilding: In just the last two weeks, they’ve sent out stars Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, and Darcy Kuemper for mostly expiring contracts and draft picks.

“I’ve heard Dvorak [talked about] a ton,” Friedman said. “He’s a physical, banging center who can get points. Those guys are hard to find. There’s a lot of teams out there that really like him.”

Friedman named San Jose, Calgary, Minnesota, Montreal, and the Rangers as among those teams.

That said, Friedman did not indicate that the Sharks were engaged in active trade discussions with the Coyotes regarding Dvorak. At the moment, the San Jose Sharks are three deep in top-nine pivots with Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, and recently-signed Nick Bonino. Acquiring Dvorak would probably mean shifting one of those centers to wing.

Maybe acquiring Dvorak made more sense for San Jose — in terms of roster construction and salary cap allocation — before free agency? I wonder if the Sharks checked in on Dvorak in lieu of Bonino?

On the other hand, Dvorak is a young, accomplished forward on a reasonable contract. He’s the kind of player, if he’s available, that you’re always interested in. Young centermen who consistently average a point every two games, win more than half their faceoffs, and can be used in all situations aren’t a dime a dozen.

Either way, Dvorak isn’t coming cheap. But good news for the resetting San Jose Sharks, or whichever club nabs him — based on Arizona’s M.O. so far this off-season, they’re motivated to move him, and a combination of picks or prospects should do the trick.

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