Could the return for Bo Horvat be a model for Timo Meier and the San Jose Sharks?
“Probably a very similar deal as to the Bo Horvat trade,” an NHL executive from outside of the Sharks organization opined to San Jose Hockey Now, about a potential return in a Meier trade.
The Vancouver Canucks acquired 25-year-old Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty, and a top-12 protected 2023 first-round pick from the New York Islanders for pending UFA Bo Horvat. That 2023 first-round pick becomes an unprotected 2024 first-rounder if the Islanders’ 2023 is in the top-12.
Horvat, 27, is a two-way center — a premium position — enjoying a career season. His 31 goals in 49 games matches his career-high last year, set in 70 contests.
Meier, 26, is a power winger, also enjoying a career season. He’s on pace for 45 goals, which would eclipse his career-high 35 last year.
Meier is an RFA, albeit with a $10 million qualifying offer, so his team does hold his rights next season. That should be a minor value add.
But let’s say Meier matches Horvat’s return: The San Jose Sharks should expect a protected first-round pick, a Grade-B prospect, and a solid, youngish NHL player (albeit on a less-than-desirable contract) back.
Raty, according to multiple NHL sources, has raised his stock quite a bit from his 2021 Draft freefall – the expected first-rounder dropped late into the second round – but he’s still not considered a can’t-miss prospect.
Beauvillier is a speedy, skilled middle-six winger, career-high 21 goals, who will be a UFA after 2023-24 and has a $4.15 million cap hit.
Such a deal might be at the low-end of what the San Jose Sharks want – yesterday, another source indicated to SJHN that GM Mike Grier was looking for “a first-rounder — and one Grade-A or two Grade-B prospects, or one good prospect and a young, established NHL player” for Meier – but Raty, Beauvillier, and a 1st might represent a more realistic return than a Grade-A prospect coming back.
As good a player as Meier is, there aren’t many teams in this salary cap era that can afford to add a potential $9 million dollar winger for the next eight years.
But if you see Meier as a long-term fit for your roster?
The one trump card that Grier might have is his apparent willingness to allow interested teams the opportunity to speak with Meier’s representation about a possible extension. If you can extend the winger or are highly optimistic that you can do so, that should increase his trade value.
Reportedly, the Canucks did not allow suitors to talk to Horvat about a new contract.
If the San Jose Sharks are not satisfied with the offers for Meier from now until the Mar. 3 Trade Deadline, they could revisit dealing the pending RFA during the Draft, or qualify and dangle him as a UFA rental next Trade Deadline.
There’s a chance that they could re-sign Meier to an extension too. Claude Lemieux, Meier’s agent, told San Jose Hockey Now recently that the door was still open to that.
But that was a week and a half ago. What if Meier wants out? Then the Sharks might just have to take the best deal possible, which could be a Horvat-like return.
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