As the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline inches closer, many names are starting to be thrown out as possible targets and fits for the New York Rangers. One name that has recently gained more traction is San Jose Sharks forward, Timo Meier. His name has popped up because he is a right-winger, which the Rangers are lacking outside of Kaapo Kakko. While he could be an enticing addition to this talented forward core, the Rangers have other concerns to address plus, he does not fit into the future of the team.
The 26-year-old started the year off slowly but has since picked up his game. He has 25 goals and 45 points in 45 games played with the Sharks. His name is appearing in trade rumors because it seems unlikely that he will sign an extension with the Sharks as they are going through a rebuild. The Sharks could get many assets for Meier as he is only 26 and is an RFA after this season. The Rangers have been linked to Meier and although his addition would be huge for the team, Meier would not be a Rangers past this season.
Meier is coming off of a career season, with 76 points in 77 games last year. He is averaging a point per game now and will likely be commanding a lot of money, money that the Rangers do not have. The majority of the Rangers’ money is locked up in their core players and they also have key players to resign this offseason. Meier’s qualifying offer is $10 million so he’d have to be extended before they’d reach the qualifying stage.
Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, and Filip Chytil will all need new contracts and that will take up the rest of the cap space the team will have this summer. Even if the Rangers acquired Meier, they would likely have to trade his RFA rights for a not-so-great package or trade away other players to make room for Meier’s new contract. Either way, it would be a good ending to the story.
Fans would wonder can’t they just trade players who make the most money like Jacob Trouba or Vincent Trocheck? This is due to them having NMC(No-Movement Clauses) in their contracts. If the team wanted to trade them, they would need to ask the player first and they would say no. The core players all have some sort of trade protection in their deals so moving them is unlikely.
Timo Meier is an excellent player who would fill a hole the Rangers have in their lineup. He would be an impact player and would help greatly in the playoffs. However, the Rangers would have to give up a great package to acquire him and then would have a struggle trying to keep him. There are other options for the Rangers out there and Meier is not one of them.