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Sabres among teams to contact Sharks on pending RFA Meier

Timo Meier San Jose Sharks Timo Meier - The Canadian Press

It appears San Jose Sharks pending restricted free agent Timo Meier could be one name to watch ahead of the NHL's March 3 trade deadline.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that the Sharks have yet to offer Meier a contract extension and his availability could lure teams outside the playoff picture into being buyers at the deadline.

LeBrun notes that the Buffalo Sabres have spoken to the Sharks about the winger, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes could also be potential trade partners for San Jose.

"Timo Meier, unlike Ryan O’Reilly, is not you’re prototypical rental player because he’s not an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s technically a restricted free agent, but also has a $10 million qualifying offer and that has some teams that really like him concerned about how they can navigate that," LeBrun said Tuesday on Insider Trading. 

"It’s why some teams are hoping that if the Sharks give permission to Meier’s camp – led by agent Claude Lemieux – to speak directly to them to see if that could be the type of a trade where the extension is a part of it, but that has not happened yet, Lemieux has not gotten that permission. It’s also not out of the question that the Sharks try to sign him yet, but they have not put an offer on the table to Timo Meier since the start of the season, so it doesn’t look too likely there.

"Obviously, the contenders would make sense. Toronto would make sense. Carolina has some interest because, again, they see Meier as a long-term fit. But also a team like the Buffalo Sabres has reached out to San Jose. This could be the type of player that has interest from teams that are not even sitting in a playoff spot, so it’s kind of a unique case here with Timo Meier. "

Meier has 28 goals and 48 points in 49 games this season and is closing on reaching the 30-goal mark for the third time in the past five years. 

The 26-year-old has a cap hit of $6 million this season, but due to receiving $9 million in salary, his qualifying offer is set at double digits this summer.

Selected ninth overall in the 2015 draft, Meier 151 goals and 312 points in 443 games, all with San Jose.

The Sharks are shaping up as sellers at the trade deadline, staring down missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year with a 14-25-10 through 49 games.