After moving Mark Stone and his $9.5 million cap hit to long-term injured reserve last week, it was clear the Vegas Golden Knights were looking to add a high caliber player to their roster ahead of the trade deadline, and they have done just that.
As first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Golden Knights have acquired forward Ivan Barbashev from the St. Louis Blues. The 27-year-old is in the final year of a two-year deal which carries a cap hit of $2.25 million. In 59 games this season he has scored 10 goals and 29 points, but just a season prior put up a career high 60 points in 81 outings. While Barbashev is a big pickup for the Golden Knights, they aren’t believed to be done just yet.
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Golden Knights are one of two teams – the other being the New Jersey Devils – who are still in on San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier. LeBrun also mentioned that the Carolina Hurricanes were informed by Sharks management that they are no longer in the running for the 26-year-old as the other two had made more significant offers.
While there have been a number of top notch players on the block heading into this year’s trade deadline, Meier may be the best of the bunch. Set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, the Swiss winger has had a fantastic season on a Sharks team that struggles to score, with 31 goals and 52 points in 57 games.
What will be interesting to see is what the final package ends up being that is able to land Meier. It had been reported weeks ago that the Sharks were seeking either a first-round pick along with either two ‘B’ prospects, or a first-round pick and a ‘B’ prospect along with a young player currently on an NHL roster. They were also comfortable making it a two piece package instead if a team in the running were able to part with their top prospect. If that were the case for the Golden Knights, it may be 21-year-old Brendan Brisson heading the other way.
While adding Meier would certainly boost the Golden Knights odds when it comes to a Stanley Cup this season, it is believed Kelly McCrimmon would like to sign him to an extension as well. That won’t be easy, as he reportedly wants to ink a maximum eight-year extension, and is looking for an average annual value north of $9 million. If McCrimmon is confident he can somehow find a way to get that done, then it makes plenty of sense for him to pull the trigger on what is set to be a blockbuster deal.
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