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Will Sharks See Tkachuk As Model for Meier Contract…or Trade?

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Credit: AP Photo/Josie Lepe

Could Matthew Tkachuk’s new contract with the Florida Panthers set the standard for Timo Meier’s next contract with the San Jose Sharks?

Curtis Pashelka posited that on Friday, after the Calgary Flames sent pending RFA Tkachuk in a sign-and-trade deal, along with a 2025 fourth-round pick, to the Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt, and a 2025 first-round pick.

By the way, the list of recent 35-goal RFA wingers coming out of a bridge deal and within three-or-less years of unrestricted free agency, like Tkachuk and Meier, isn’t long.

Adrian Kempe just inked a four-year, $21 million agreement ($5.5 million AAV) with the Los Angeles Kings, a potential sweetheart deal, but it’s also a reflection of the fact that the 25-year-old winger doesn’t have a strong scoring track record before this past season.

Patrik Laine just signed a four-year, $34.8 million contract ($8.7 million AAV) with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old is a pure sniper who doesn’t have the power game of a Tkachuk or a Meier.

Both Tkachuk and Meier are elite, game-changing wingers with enviable blends of skill, speed, and power. Both are two-time 30-goal scorers.

Here’s where Tkachuk and Meier diverge.

Meier is a 2015 first-round pick, as opposed to Tkachuk, a 2016 first-rounder, so he’s a year older.

Tkachuk has proven to be more consistent throughout his career: Before his breakout 2021-22 year, he still managed to be a near point-per-game player in the previous three seasons. Before his recent career-high 35-goal, 76-point campaign, Meier had suffered back-to-back down years.

Tkachuk has also hit 40-goal and 100-point milestones, though Meier has never had a playmaker of Johnny Gaudreau’s ilk serving him.

But if Meier flirts with 40 goals and averages a point per game again this coming season, the pending RFA will solidify his place as one of the absolute top wingers in the game. That will put Meier into Tkachuk’s pay grade.

Will the San Jose Sharks ante up or go in another direction?

Here’s another way to look at it if you’re the Sharks: Can Meier duplicate Tkachuk’s return in a trade?

Say Meier repeats his All-Star form again next year – but the Sharks are mired in the cellar – could another team offer San Jose a Tkachuk-like haul?

Let’s keep in mind that Huberdeau and Weegar are both older, pending UFAs – there’s no doubt that Calgary received more cumulative talent back than they sent out in Tkachuk, but Florida got younger and now have that all-important cost certainty.

If you’re the Sharks, if the Panthers offered Huberdeau and Weegar, as talented as they are, for Meier, a 29-year-old center and a 28-year-old defenseman, both a year away from unrestricted free agency, don’t necessarily fit this organization’s timeline.

But anyway – it’s all academic right now. First things first, Meier must prove his 2021-22 campaign was no fluke.

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Falco5

You absolutely take that return for Meier… and if you still suck you flip the older assets.

The Masala Slapper

He’s the best forward on the team, are you prepared to give that up for multiple players with lower ceilings?

Brian

It all depends on the specifics what players are on the table and we just don’t know that as it’s all vague conjecture at this point.. I think he needs one more really good year to approximate Tkachuk’s value. Given where SJ is in their development as a team, I think you have to entertain seeingwhat you can get in return for Meier and if you don’t get the value return you want, then you keep him. At a minimum, I would say 1.) an under 30 yrs old top line winger (like Huberdeau (maybe not quite at his level)… Read more »

david barnard

i think Hertl’s got him edged on that point currently.

david barnard

i think the major difference between the two players is Tkachuk’s defensive game being superior.

the value on the trade should be similar, however, i think the assets would be a bit different coming back considering where the Sharks are in their “re-whatever” they’re calling it. a younger roster player with potential future star power+the non roster B prospect+ the 1st round pick.

david barnard

McCurdy data smoothed 5v5 xG/60 favor Tkachuk with OZS in the same ballpark. and then there’s their RAPM comparison (single season)

multi-season is even worse for Timo.

Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 14-48-54 Evolving-Hockey.com RAPM Charts.png
Whiskerz

I think between the Fiala & Tkachuk contracts we have the range that Meier will be within if he had another successful season

david barnard

NYI need a scoring winger and LL is being criticized for not having done much as of yet. what would a possible trade look like between them and the Sharks for Timo? Bellows is in need of a new contract and they’ll want to move some cap hit off their roster. Sharks will want a good established young roster player back in return. that screams Beauvillier, 25 yrs of age, $4.15M AAV with 2 years remaining on his contract. Bellows is a pending RFA, 24 yrs of age. a B prospect defenceman in 1 of: Samuel Bolduc, Robin Salo, or… Read more »

Falco5

Closest equivalent to Huberdeau this year is probably O’Reilly or Tarasenko from the Blues. Both UFAs next year. But I dont think the sharks will make this trade till atleast midseason. Next year, if the Leafs fail again maybe Marner could be the target

david barnard

really? they just gave up a 1st rd pick for Romanov and they won’t trade Dobson. all 3 of those D prospects have top 4 upside. Bellows is kind of a bust so far, but Beauvillier’s decent, especially on the PP. he had a down season, but he was a playoff darling the season prior and progressed in seasons 2/3. could use a change of scenery.

i guess, see if they’re willing to part with Raty instead of Bellows?

Last edited 16 days ago by david barnard
Alaskan_ice

Boy, say the word “trade” and it’s a carnival!!
I can’t see Timo being traded. Unless he really wants to go. The cap will be going up and we will have more room to sign. Teams are always shifting, players come and go, contracts come and go.
Meier is and will be one of the core to build around. Along with Hertl and Ferraro, once he’s signed.

The Masala Slapper

Question with Meier is, are you paying for potential or paying for production?

Labanc case shows us when you pay for potential, it can blow up in your face.

Meier has to show consistency. He nearly hit 40 goals without real support. If he can do it again, he’s worth a big ticket. If he can’t, that’s a dilemma.

The Masala Slapper

You and I also may disagree slightly on the Sharks’ timeline…I don’t see Hertl as a core player because the Sharks will not be relevant in his prime…I’d define it as Meier, Ferraro, Eklund* and Karlsson*.

Alaskan_ice

I should’ve added more names. I was kind of in a hurry. Lol.

KE

Ferraro is not that good – hopefully he just had a bad year. He was pretty banged up. I like the kid but I believe he’s overrated – however, I’ve been known to be wrong lol. Hopefully his summer work made him stronger

david barnard

why wouldn’t he?

KE

Because David Mario gets pushed off the puck and doesn’t push guys out from the net. Yes he blocks shots but taking a big risk doing that if it isn’t done with the stick but with the body. As much as he works out he should be stronger I expected it last season but he was not.

david barnard

i was referencing Meier.

david barnard

re Mario, he knocks guys off the puck, cuts them off behind the net and puts them into the boards well enough while taking possession of the puck. even when beat at the blue line he has the recovery speed (and hip flexibility) to get back on the puck carrier, tie him up, and otherwise interfere with the shot or pass. he gets to loose pucks better than any other Sharks d-man. he’s pretty strong for his size, imo. most of my complaints with him are his offensive instincts.

Last edited 14 days ago by david barnard
Zeke

Glad to see I’m not the only one (anymore) thinking about trading Timo. Timo is a fine player. But the Sharks a long way (roster-wise and time-wise) from being compeitive and why would he want to spend prime years being on an uncompetitive team in San Jose? The Sharks can retain him a bit longer by overpaying him. But then get a lot less in return. It is probably time to sell high on Timo. For his sake and the organization’s. I’ve said the trade ought to be Hertl+Meier+Barabanov — an entire line (easily among the top 20 in the… Read more »

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