Timo Meier now is a New Jersey Devil, though the trade to send him there certainly was a process.
NHL insider Pierre LeBrun explained Sunday on TSN that the Devils' deal for Meier was a "grind from all accounts" and something the Sharks had worked on for weeks.
"At one point in the past week, there were at least five teams involved, including Winnipeg and St. Louis and Carolina," LeBrun said. "But it came down to two teams this morning. It was down to New Jersey and [the Vegas Golden Knights].
"Carolina was knocked out of it late last night, and it went back and forth, and finally, the Devils, a team we had speculated a lot over the last few weeks, really wanted Timo Meier."
Meier, as a restricted free agent next offseason, will have a $10 million qualifying offer for the 2023-24 season. As such, New Jersey's initial interest in Meier hinged on whether or not the 26-year-old winger was willing to sign a contract extension.
However, LeBrun reported the Devils changed that stance in the last 48 to 72 hours, and ultimately went through with the trade even without a Meier extension guarantee.
"They decided they could just make the trade straight up, and that's what they've done, and that was pretty important in terms of finally getting the process over with," LeBrun said.
The Devils are confident Meier will not be just a rental player, though, per LeBrun.
"The Devils want Timo Meier to be around a long time with them, if they can find a way to extend him at some point," LeBrun said. "He's not a pending UFA. He's got a big qualifying offer of $10 million.
"But the Devils did not trade for Timo Meier today for two months of hockey."
What the Devils did trade was three prospects (defensemen Shakir Mukhamadullin and Nikita Okhotiuk and winger Fabian Zetterlund), veteran winger Andreas Johnsson and three draft picks (a 2023 first-rounder, a conditional 2024 first-rounder and a 2024 seventh-rounder). That would be a steep price for a short-term fix, so New Jersey certainly hopes Meier will stay in a Devils uniform for the long term.
Meanwhile, in San Jose, it's a new chapter for the Sharks, who hope to kick-start their journey back to winning ways, especially with the assortment of players and picks they received in this trade.