PARIS — Timo Meier has not yet spoken to new San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier about a possible contract extension.
Speaking at the NHL European Player Media Tour on Wednesday, Meier said he had a “getting to know each other” phone call with Grier, who was named GM on July 5, but no other discussions about his future with the Sharks.
The forward, who turns 26 on Oct. 8, is entering the final season of a four-year contract he signed on July 1, 2019, and can become a restricted free agent after the season.
“There has been no conversation about that,” Meier said. “I haven’t really thought about it that much, to be honest. I know my contract is up in a year, but I’m trying to focus on getting ready for the season and getting ready physically, doing my job in the race offseason and have a good start to the season. So that’s kind of my only focus right now because the other things haven’t been addressed and I’m not a guy who likes to think about it too much.”
Meier said he looks forward to meeting Grier and new coach David Quinn in person when he returns to San Jose for the start of training camp next month.
“There have been big changes and I haven’t met these people yet, so I’m looking forward to meeting them and getting started and meeting the new players we’ve acquired,” Meier said. “So I think there’s definitely a spark of new energy coming into the organization and we hope to have success and get back to the playoffs.”
San Jose (32-37-14) finished 20 points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card in the Stanley Cup playoffs in the Western Conference last season; it was the third consecutive season the Sharks did not qualify for the postseason.
But Meier had an outstanding season, setting NHL career highs with 35 goals, 41 assists and 76 points in 77 games.
The Sharks are a team in transition with Grier taking over for Doug Wilson, who stepped down in April after 19 seasons as GM, and began the process of restructuring the roster. Whether Meier will remain in San Jose long-term to help with this transition remains to be determined.
If Meier signs a one-year contract after this season, he will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023-24 season.
“That conversation hasn’t come up and there haven’t been any negotiations or anything,” Meier said. “So my focus is on right now and just getting ready for the season and playing the best season I can have. … I want to help the team be successful, so that’s my No. 1 motivation.”
After trade defender Brent Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes on July 13 to create salary cap space, Grier said he wanted Meier to remain with the Sharks beyond this season, but he had not yet gauged his interest in doing so.
“Timo is a good player,” Grier said. “We’re hoping he’ll be here, and until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume this is the place he’ll be.”
Meier believes the Sharks have the potential to improve this season after a flurry of offseason moves. Forward Steven Lorentz was acquired in the trade for Burns, and forward Luke Kunin was acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators on July 8. The Sharks also signed forwards Nico Sturm (three-year contract) and Oscar Lindblom (two-year contract) and defenders Matt Benning (four-year contract) and Markus Nutivara (one year contract).
“We have some good new players that can definitely help us, but I believe in the team, if everyone steps up, we definitely have a good squad and we feel comfortable with that,” Meier said. “So it’s up to the players to do more, to give more and bring the play-off spot back.”