Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 6, 2022
Will the Sharks sign or trade Timo Meier? What’s the latest on Bo Horvat’s contract talks? Could injuries force the Leafs into the trade market for a goaltender? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup
WHAT WILL THE SHARKS DO WITH MEIER?
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently wondered if Timo Meier will become trade bait at some point in this season. The 26-year-old winger enjoyed a career-best 35-goal, 76-point performance in 2021-22. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights and will be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.
Meier is earning an average annual value of $6 million but he’s earning $10 million in actual salary for this season. That’s how much it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights unless the two sides agree to a new contract with a salary-cap hit.
The Sharks could attempt to shop Meier before the March 3 trade deadline if unable to re-sign him before then. However, his backloaded contract could turn him into a rental player if the acquiring club can’t afford the $10 million qualifying offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The question, as Duhatschek observes, is whether Meier can be considered a $10 million per season player. Another season with 76-or-more points could make that case, though there are players who had over 100 points last season (Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau) who agreed to deals worth around $9.5 million.
Duhatschek believes Meier will be an intriguing player in the trade market if the Sharks decide to move him before the deadline. He would draw considerable interest but that $10 million qualifier could dampen that enthusiasm and perhaps hurt his trade value to the Sharks.
NO PROGRESS IN HORVAT CONTRACT TALKS
The 27-year-old center is slated to become a UFA next summer and is earning an AAV of $5.5 million. Marek believes people are starting to get curious about whether the Canucks will decide if his future is in Vancouver or elsewhere.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty of time still exists for the two sides to hammer out an agreement before July 1. Unlike most of his teammates, Horvat’s been a reliable presence on the Canucks this season with a team-leading 10 goals.
However, the Canucks’ performance this season could also be a determining factor. If they’re out of playoff contention leading up to the trade deadline, management could decide that a shakeup of the club’s leadership is required. That could lead to Horvat getting shopped before March 3.
WILL THE LEAFS SHOP FOR A GOALTENDER?
THE ATHLETIC: With Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov sidelined by injuries, Jonas Siegel wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might consider shopping around for an experienced netminder as their third goalie. Current third-stringer Erik Kallgren is struggling to establish himself at the NHL level.
Siegel suggested the Vegas Golden Knights as a possible trade partner. Logan Thompson and Adin Hill have played well thus far while Laurent Brossoit is currently with their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Siegel notes the Leafs have some cap flexibility with Jake Muzzin on long-term injured reserve to acquire a third netminder. For now, they’ve signed Toronto Marlies netminder Keith Petruzzelli to an NHL contract to tandem with Kallgren. If he and Kallgren don’t pan out, they could consider claiming a goalie off waivers or going the trade route.