Pros and Cons of the Flyers Acquiring Timo Meier

The 2023 NHL trade deadline is on the horizon and there are projected to be some big names landing in new places while the Philadelphia Flyers are once again planning on watching the fun from the sidelines. But what if they don’t? It doesn’t make sense for the Flyers to hunt down a big time pending unrestricted free agent, but what if they try to acquire a restricted free agent who’d be under team control this summer? Enter San Jose Sharks’ forward Timo Meier. The 26-year-old is the big fish in the RFA pool and will more than likely get dealt at the trade deadline, but does it make sense for the Flyers to pursue the Swiss forward?


Star power

The Flyers need as much scoring help as they can possibly get, and a player that is on pace for his second point-per-game season is just what the doctor ordered. Ideally, the Flyers would be looking for a top center, but they’re desperate enough where they can’t be too picky in the name of adding some much needed star power.

Spark plug for the rest of the roster

One of the points of adding a star player is not only the production he himself brings, but the good he can do for the players around him too. With a roster filled with young players in desperate need of a spark plug to take them to the next level, it could be just as beneficial for players like Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost that they’ve got a legitimate skill forward to play with.

Keep him away from New Jersey

Fans today may forget what competition looks like between teams because it’s been a hot minute since the Flyers have had an actual rival, but this could provide a chance to stir some stuff up if you’re the Flyers. Early rumors ahead of the trade deadline hint at the New Jersey Devils being suitors for Meier, and letting a talent like that go to one of your biggest competitors without a fight will hurt the Flyers in the long haul. At least throw your hat in the ring and make it interesting. Making the Devils give up an extra asset or two for the services of Meier is the least the Flyers could do.


Trade price

As noted, the Flyers need star power. They need high-end offensive talent to take the team to the next level. The downside of that is those kinds of players have a steep price tag to meet, and the Flyers don’t exactly have a wealth of assets to give up at the moment. Especially if the Flyers intend on keeping their 2023 first round pick, there’s going to be a hefty asking price from San Jose, who are in a rebuild of their own. The Flyers could probably craft a deal to get it done, but is this the player they want to exude all their assets on? Is there a better option out there? Maybe, maybe not.

Re-signing him

Meier is a restricted free agent this summer and will need a new, rather large contract extension. His qualifying offer is a whopping $10 million after all. Even though his RFA status keeps him under team control, for the Flyers, it’s very much putting the cart before the horse in the sense that they are going to need an exorbitant amount of money to sign the guy, and while they can eventually open that space by dealing Hayes and Provorov, any team could squeeze the Flyers when it comes to trying to move them. Losing any trade negotiation power because the Flyers would have to make moves rather than waiting for teams to come to them could be more damaging in the long run and undo any positives Meier himself may bring.

His RFA status

The big argument held against acquiring Alex DeBrincat last summer was the fact that he could’ve refused to sign a long-term deal during the 2023 offseason, walking himself to unrestricted free agent status in just two years time and the Flyers wouldn’t have much say in the matter. Meier could theoretically pull the same card and sign his one-year, $10 million contract and leave next summer, a not great conclusion if they’re giving up a king’s ransom of assets for the guy.


If the Flyers ever want to take a step forward as an organization, they’re going to have to pay up for good players sooner or later. Refusing to sign Johnny Gaudreau, who fell in their laps last summer closed the door on taking the easy way out. Now they are going to have to go out and pursue a top player of their own volition, but the current incarnation of the front office has stayed away from making waves for years.

Is Meier a perfect option? No, probably not, but who is? A 26-year-old RFA who’s firing at a point-per-game clip for the last two years that can score goals and serve as a decent playmaker and produces on the powerplay should be the mold they’re looking to fill. The question always falls back to is this the right guy at the right time. It’s been the go-to defense against adding talent for years. If they never take a risk, they’ll never know whether or not Meier is the right guy.

The fact that he’s succeeding on a team like San Jose, who is right around the same tier of team the Flyers are in, should be a good sign that he could make it here. The arguments last summer that Gaudreau came from a playoff-caliber team and DeBrincat was riding shotgun with Patrick Kane were respectable concerns, but Meier has proven to have success on a lowly Sharks team so he should theoretically be fine in Philly too.

The $10 million qualifying offer is the elephant in the room. It’s a massive price tag that only 14 players in the league are making. Investing that kind of money on a winger isn’t the best move for the Flyers who are in desperate need of help down the middle. If they manage to clear Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov during the offseason and invest the newly found cap space in another winger, leaving center unaddressed yet again, could be a failure before next season even starts.

There’s a good chance the Flyers don’t even attempt to make a run at Meier, but after weighing the options, it’s really 50/50. The Flyers need skill players and they are going to have to pay up one way or another to get it, a $10 million winger who may not commit long-term is quite the risk. Though without the guarantee that someone like Dylan Larkin hits the free agent market, there may not be that perfect addition out there, meaning Meier may be the best bet to improve. Welcome to the conundrum of the Philadelphia Flyers.

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

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