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Sharks finally trade Timo Meier
Lots of questions about Sharks return
2/26/2023 - By Mike Lee

Sharks General Manager Mike Grier finally pulled the plug on a Timo Meier trade. Grier shipped Meier and a gaggle of Sharks prospects to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday in exchange for three draft picks and four Devils prospects. None of the players San Jose receives in return for Meier is a top end prospect, which had many people scratching their heads after the deal was made.

How New Jersey landed Meier without giving up top prospect Dawson Mercer is the big question in this deal. Meier was undoubtedly the biggest prize in the pre-trade deadline period, but the Sharks whiffed on landing Mercer.

The deal did not include a contract extension, which limited what San Jose received in the deal, essentially making Meier a pseudo rental. Meier is a restricted free agent, so the Devils will have the right to sign Meier for guaranteed money, but it's unclear if they'll be willing to fork up the $10 million annual salary that's required to retain the Swiss forward.

The Sharks were not in a position to sign Meier to the 8-year contract that he's looking for, so they decided to cut bait and salvage more in return this season, than what he would have been worth next season.

The Sharks sent Meier, defenseman Scott Harrington, defenseman Santeri Hataaka, forward Timur Ibragimov, goaltender Zach Emond and Colorado's 2024 5th round draft pick.

San Jose will also pay half of Meier's remaining 2022-23 contract.

What San Jose gets in return is as follows:

1) New Jersey's 2023 1st round pick. If the pick is a top 2 pick, San Jose will receive New Jersey's 2024 1st round draft pick instead.

2) New Jersey's 2024 1st round selection if the Devils reach the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals and Meier plays in 50% of the Devils playoff games in 2023, or if the Devils reach the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals. The latter would be top 10 pick protected, and would convert to the Devils 2025 1st round pick if the pick is established as a top 10 selection. If none of these things happens, the Sharks will receive the Devils 2024 2nd round draft pick.

3) Defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin - a 2020 1st round selection by the Devils (20th overall) who has spent the last 4 years with Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL). The 21 year old prospect is 6'3" 195 lbs. He has some international experience, playing for Russia in the 2021 U-20 World Junior Championships.

4) Forward Fabian Zetterlund - a 2017 3rd round pick by the Devils (63rd overall), playing in 45 games for the Devils this season, where he has recorded 6 goals and 14 assists. Zetterlund is 23 years old Swede and made his NHL debut last season, where he split time between New Jersey and Utica (AHL). He also appeared in the 2018 and 2019 U-20 World Junior Championships for Sweden.

5) Defenseman Nikita Okhotiuk - drafted by the Devils in 2019 in the 2nd round (61st overall). Okhotiuk made his NHL debut last season and appeared in 15 games over the last two seasons.

6) Forward Andreas Johnsson - a 7th round selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013 (202nd overall) and played three seasons in Toronto before making his way to New Jersey. He has 248 games of NHL experience, scoring 48 goals and 65 assists. He has only appeared in 2 games for the Devils this season, spending the majority of the season in Utica (AHL).

Assuming Meier propels the Devils, the primary draft pick will be in the 20-30th overall selection range. It's not a lottery pick. The prospect for prospect exchange favors the Sharks, but it did not include a blue chip player that the Sharks require.

Greier indicated that the Sharks are not in a rebuild. With comments like that, you have to start questioning what the Sharks GM thinks the state of his team is in currently. A team that's wallowing in the bottom 4 of the entire league either needs to be rebuilding, or pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Neither seems likely if the team's GM thinks he's in supplement a competitive team mode. His team is simply not competitive no matter how he tries to spin it.


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