Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson appear to be on board with new San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier’s direction.
“Logan’s really excited,” Grier reported two weeks ago, after Sharks stalwart Brent Burns was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes. “He said he can’t wait to get going and [is] looking forward to the season. We’re happy that we have him back, leading our group.”
He added: “Erik and I talked for about 20 minutes the other day, we had a really good conversation. I think he’s motivated, he’s feeling good.
However, it wasn’t as clear if Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier were on board.
“I gotta check in with Tomas, the time difference and everything, it’s been hard to get a hold of him,” Grier said then. “Him and Timo.”
It seemed like Grier, at the time, was taking inventory of his stars, such as Burns, in part to gauge their desire to be a part of his San Jose Sharks.
It looks like Hertl and Meier delivered some good news to Grier.
“The overall feeling was that they’re all excited about the change and all looking forward to coming back and getting ready to work,” the new GM shared today.
That said, everybody’s undefeated in the off-season. We’ll see if the Sharks’ veteran quartet is still singing a joyful tune if the team gets off to a rough start under new head coach David Quinn.
But it appears, unlike Joe Thornton in the 2020 off-season and Burns this past off-season, that Couture, Karlsson, Hertl, and Meier will quest again to bring the San Jose Sharks back to glory.
Of course, Hertl is signed for eight more years, through 2029-30. Karlsson and Couture are signed for five more years, through 2026-27. Even if they wanted to depart, it wouldn’t be easy for the Sharks to part with them.
Timo Meier, of course, is a different story.
The 25-year-old, coming off an All-Star appearance, is an RFA after this coming season. If he repeats or improves on his 35-goal campaign, he will be in line for a Matthew Tkachuk-like extension…or possibly, a Tkachuk-like return in trade.
Last week, the Calgary Flames sent pending RFA Tkachuk in a sign-and-trade deal, along with a 2025 fourth-round pick, to the Florida Panthers – the Panthers ponied up eight years and $76 million to Tkachuk – for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt, and a 2025 first-round pick.
The Sharks’ course here might be decided by Meier, who hasn’t exactly committed to staying in San Jose.
“I haven’t thought too much about [being in San Jose long-term]. I’m not a guy that looks too far ahead. Try to stay in the moment,” the star winger said in his recent exit interview. “But yeah, going to be thinking about it this summer, looking at stuff and all that, reflecting on the season.”
Now I don’t want to make a big deal about this. Meier, in my experience with him, isn’t the kind of player to deviate from the script much when speaking to the media. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But unlike the heart-on-his-sleeve Hertl, who said last summer and repeated many times this past year that he wanted to stay with the Sharks, it may not be as easy to tell what’s on Meier’s mind when it comes to staying in San Jose after this season.
And it seems like Grier isn’t so sure either.
“Timo is a good player,” Grier said. “We hope he wants to be here, and until I hear otherwise, I’ll assume this is the place he wants to be.”
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