Should the Flyers Acquire Timo Meier?

The New Jersey Devils were the big winner of the Timo Meier sweepstakes at the trade deadline back in March, but the 26-year-old forward wasn’t enough to carry them to a Stanley Cup. He scored nine goals and 14 points in 21 regular season games for the Devils, bringing his season total up to 40 goals and 66 points in 78 games. He also tacked on four points in 11 playoff games.

The Devils already have pending restricted free agent Jesper Bratt to re-sign, and as of this writing, only have five forwards under contract for next season. Committing to two big-ticket players like Meier and Bratt may not be financially possible without risking depth elsewhere in the lineup, so they have a choice to make when it comes to who they re-sign.

It doesn’t help that Meier has a whopping $10 million qualifying offer to deal with.

It could lead to the Devils having to flip Meier’s rights during the offseason in favor of rounding out the rest of their team.

As a refresher, the Devils traded veteran Andreas Johnsson and prospects Fabian Zutterlund (63rd overall 2017), Shakir Mukhamadullin (20th overall 2020) and Nikita Okhotiuk (61st overall 2019) plus a 2023 first round pick as well as a 2024 second and seventh round pick in exchange for Meier.

The Sharks also sent depth veteran Scott Harrington, and prospects Santeri Hatakka (184th overall 2019), Timur Ibragimov (164th in 2019) and Zachary Emond (176th overall 2018) plus a 2024 fifth round pick in the deal.

There’s a lot going on there, but essentially it was three higher-end prospects plus a first and second round pick for Meier. They paid the premium price for his rental services, but can’t expect to get quite the return for his rights, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get moved cheap.

Meier can play either wing, is a top scorer racking up 142 points in his last 155 games spread over the last two seasons, is a great play driver and is more than capable as a two-way forward as well. All that coming primarily on a lackluster San Jose Sharks team who was just slightly better offensively than the Flyers were in 2022-23 (233 total goals and 2.84 G/GP vs the Flyers’ 220 goals and 2.68 G/GP.)

His trade value is interesting. As noted, the Devils really can’t afford to tie a significant amount of money up right now as a team on the rise with plenty of talented youth already on the roster and more coming.

Joel Farabee feels like the guy this trade could be based around. His 2022-23 season was impacted by his offseason neck surgery, and his 2021-22 season was highly disrupted by various injuries. He was supposed to be the next pillar of the Flyers’ franchise and now there’s some doubt cast into what his ceiling actually is.

That said, he’s still just 23 years old and did hit the 20-goal plateau in 55 games back in 2020-21, but has yet to even hit 40 points in his four NHL seasons, with his best effort coming this year with 39. His best chance of getting his own career back on track could be lining up alongside top forwards like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt, all better names than anything the Flyers could muster these days.

The big snag already is that Farabee is on a contract that pay him $5 million per season for the next five years. It’s half the price of Meier’s qualifying offer, but may represent a bulk of what the Devils are willing to spend when it comes to replacing him.

The Flyers do own two 2024 first round picks, their own and Florida’s, which could be just the ammo New Jersey’s looking for in a deal to recoup their lost 2023 first they sent in the original deal. The Devils do currently own their 2024 first rounder as well. For a team like them, they could use it to draft another prospect to keep their pipeline prosperous, or deal it away down the line for more main roster help.

The Devils get a young forward that still has upside plus an additional first round pick meanwhile the Flyers get the sure thing player that immediately becomes the best forward on the team.

For the Flyers, they get a point-per-game forward, and even at a worst-case $10 million qualifying offer, it’s only a $5 million addition if Farabee’s $5 million gets sent away in the deal. Meier could also sign a long-term contract with a slightly more favorable AAV.

Obviously, any deal is contingent on a Meier extension. Worth noting before the “BuT dAnIeL” crowd hits the replies. It would be the best (and most likely) scenario where they would out a long-term deal and avoid the one-year, $10 million qualifying offer entirely.

Even though the Flyers are supposedly entering a rebuild under new GM Danny Briere, their forward corps is already filled with younger players that desperately need some help to establish themselves with some legitimacy in the NHL. There’s nothing wrong with finding one high-end player for guys like Morgan Frost, Owen Tippett, Noah Cates or Tyson Foerster to line up with. Chances are they’ll be better in the long run because of it. It’s a gamble of a move, but there aren’t many better players out there this summer than Meier. If the Flyers truly want a New Era of Orange, there would be few better options than to sign Meier and make him the new face of the franchise moving forward.

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

photo credit:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s