The Toronto Maple Leafs have been seeking an upgrade to their top six all season long. Could a trade with the San Jose Sharks help them get their guy?
Timo Meier is a point-producing machine and could vastly improve the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup.
The Swiss-born forward has 26 goals and 20 assists for 46 points in 46 games. He registered 76 points in 77 games last season, so the Leafs would be acquiring a player who has been playing at a point-per-game pace over his last 123 games. (Stats from hockey-reference.com)
Adding Meier will not be easy or cheap, but if Toronto is planning on going all-in for the chance of a long playoff run, it could be a move they’re willing to make. At $6 million against the salary cap, Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas will need to get creative.
Meier’s cap hit is not the only hurdle for GM Dubas. According to Frank Seravalli from dailyfaceoff.com, the asking price for Meier could be similar to what the Ottawa Senators paid to get Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks. Ottawa gave up a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2024 third-round pick for DeBrincat.
What Would the Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Pay for Meier?
The Leafs have already traded their 2023 second, fourth and seventh rounders. They also cannot trade their 3rd rounder, because Arizona has the option to take it instead of a 2025 second rounder they got in the Nick Ritchie deal.
They do have their first, and an extra 3rd they got from Ottawa. They also have their first and second picks in next year’s draft. It would likely take most of these picks to get Meier, unless they add a significant prospect as well.
As for Meier’s $6 million cap hit, you’d have to figure San Jose would be retaining salary as part of any trade.
If the Leafs are adding Meier, they are most likely going to move money out from the actual roster, and Alex Kerfoot would likely be the odd man out since he has the highest salary out of all the options.
Now comes the tricky part of acquiring Meier. His salary for this season is $10 million. So Toronto would need to give the pending RFA a $10 million qualifying offer or let him become a UFA and hit the open market.
San Jose has said teams can talk contract with him, but the Leafs main focus is for this year. Paying a high price for a rental may not seem like the best value, but if you find a Marian Hossa and make a run to the cup, no one will complain.