Newark, NJ – According to a report by Sportsnet Insider, Elliotte Friedman, the New Jersey Devils have filed team-elected arbitration with Timo Meier.
The Devils just signed Jesper Bratt to an eight-year, $63 million deal with an average annual value of $7.875 million. Their goal is to get Meier locked up for the same term, however, Meier is seeking more money.
The Devils had until 5 PM to exercise the team-elected arbitration option.
According to ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, the San Jose Sharks “went above $9 million” in AAV in an attempt to try and sign the Swiss forward long-term. He was ultimately dealt to New Jersey when they realized that was not a reality.
The Devils electing to take Meier to arbitration shouldn’t raise the alarms just yet. What it does is it gives the Devils a longer window to negotiate with Meier on a long-term deal. Arbitration dates aren’t set until the end of July or early August, giving the Devils and Meier’s camp plenty of time to hammer away at a contract.
Essentially, the arbitration process includes a third party to help negotiate the salary amount of an upcoming contract. Both the team and player have the opportunity to settle before their arbitration date, however.
In the worst case, the team-elected arbitration can bring Meier’s $10 million qualifying offer down. One-year arbitration awards can be awarded at 85% of the players qualifying offers. In this case, Meier would get a one-year contract at $8.5 million. The Devils and Meier would have to wait until Jan. 1st, 2024 to negotiate a long-term contract again. If the Devils and Meier cannot come to an agreement, Meier will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, 2024.
For now, that’s putting the cart before the horse. The Devils and Meier will have ample time to work on a long-term contract, something GM Tom Fitzgerald has been adamant about wanting to get done. Fitzgerald bought more time to get a deal with Meier done. There’s no reason to believe Meier doesn’t want to be in New Jersey at this time.
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