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REPORT: Golden Knights Interested in Meier?

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Timo Meier…of the Vegas Golden Knights?

That’s what Kevin Weekes suggested today:

As the Trade Deadline inches closer and closer each and every day, the chances that the San Jose Sharks end up moving on from Meier becomes more and more likely.

By all accounts, the Sharks would love to keep Meier around, but it just isn’t logical at this point. In the final season of four-year, $24 million deal, the 26-year-old RFA projects to sign an extremely lucrative contract in the near future which, barring any shockers, could carry a full eight-year term. That might not be in the cards for the Sharks right now, as they are in the very early stages of the rebuild and don’t figure to be overly competitive in the next few seasons.

The San Jose Sharks forward is one of the best wingers in the game, and is having the best season of his career with 30 goals and 51 points through just 52 games.

To no surprise, several teams such as the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and the Carolina Hurricanes have been linked to the Swiss winger…but the Golden Knights?

Even the possibility would be hard to stomach for San Jose Sharks fans.

But here’s why Vegas would be interested, besides the obvious, that Meier is an elite winger.

Fellow star winger Mark Stone recently underwent back surgery and has since been moved to long-term injured reserve (LTIR), freeing up $9.5 million in effect for general manager Kelly McCrimmon. Based on moves we have seen the Golden Knights pull off before, it should come as little surprise that they now find themselves in on one of the biggest names available ahead of the Trade Deadline.

The interesting part of the Golden Knights being a team in the mix is that, unlike several others who have shown interest, they have almost no chance at being able to re-sign Meier. With players like Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo and Stone (next year) continuing to take up a large amount of cap space, paired with Robin Lehner’s $5 million cap hit coming off LTIR for the 2023-24 season, it seems almost impossible to imagine McCrimmon being able to give Meier a long-term deal.

That said, what’s essentially a rental may be all the Golden Knights need, as Stone’s surgery was said to be a success, meaning he should be back and ready to go by the 2023-24 campaign, if not for this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

It’s also possible for the Golden Knights to move the pending RFA and his $10 million qualifying offer in the summer to replenish what they might lose to the Sharks in a deal.

Because Meier won’t come cheap.

Last week, San Jose Hockey Now reported that the Sharks’ asking price for Meier was three pieces: A first-rounder and one good Grade-A or two Grade-B prospects, or one good prospect and a young, established NHL player. That is a heavy ask price, but one the Sharks aren’t expected to back off of, especially if they were to move Meier to a divisional opponent.

SOURCE: Sharks Want 3 Pieces for Meier?

What would make this even more difficult for the Golden Knights to pull off is that they have very little when it comes to their prospect pipeline. That said, they do have a few very intriguing pieces that could be of interest to Sharks management, and also have a first-round pick for the upcoming draft.

Based on the reported ask for Meier, a Golden Knights package could consist of the Golden Knights 2023 first-round pick, unprotected, along with prospects Brendan Brisson and Lukas Cormier.

According to SJHN’s sources, the fast-rising Cormier is considered a Grade-B prospect around the league. Henderson Silver Knights winger Brisson, however, has lost some luster despite being picked in the first round of the 2020 Draft.

“Brisson hasn’t been good this year,” an NHL scout told SJHN.

Is this enough to entice Grier? Would arguably lower-end Vegas prospects like Zach Dean or Kaeden Korzcak move the needle? Or NBA-style, maybe the San Jose Sharks GM takes a shot at his arch-rival’s eventual decline and asks for a Golden Knights’ first-round pick in the distant future?

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