NHL Rumors: 3 Up-and-Coming Teams That Could Acquire Meier

With the San Jose Sharks ready to sell off most of their remaining big pieces, Timo Meier is likely on his way out. Though it's normal to look for a contender to acquire a player like this with a good cap hit and under team control, a non-playoff team or a team on the rise is just as likely a landing spot for him.

John Matisz suggests the Anaheim Ducks, Seattle Kraken, and Columbus Blue Jackets as landing spots. The Kraken are the only team who is doing well this season, but they don't really have a star on their team. Meier could be just that while providing goal-scoring and physicality. I don't expect them to stay in competition for the top of their division, but they should be in around the playoffs by the end of the season. The team is very crowded up front, but to bring in Meier, they would surely make some room by sending off a veteran or two eating up cap space.

The Ducks weren't expected to be this bad this season, but are expecting to come out of a rebuild soon nonetheless. Their rookies and young talent will have another year under their belt and the team needs an established dynamic winger in their top-six. They have done a great job drafting, but some of the pieces must come externally through free agency or a trade. The Ducks have more than enough cap space and assets to acquire Meier and also extend him to a lucrative long-term deal. Chances are Meier wouldn't be opposed to staying in the same state to play hockey.

The Blue Jackets weren't going to do anything special this season before they were ravaged with injuries. Despite the hype around signing Johnny Gaudreau, they still have a number of young and inexperienced pieces, but the team is on the rise. If they add Meier into the mix, that helps them take that step and provides them with another weapon, one that actually stays healthy. A significant amount of cap space will be cleared during this season and in the offseason, so signing Meier long-term wouldn't be an issue.

All three destinations are intriguing and could be game-changers for the franchises.

Photo credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports