Meier, Sharks have yet to begin discussions for contract extension

PARIS — Timo Meier hasn’t talked with new San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier about a possible contract extension yet.

Speaking at the NHL European Player Media Tour on Wednesday, Meier said he had a “getting to know each other” telephone conversation 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 July 1, 2019, and can become a restricted free agent after the season.

“There hasn’t been any conversation about that,” Meier said. “I haven’t really thought too much about it, 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 work during the offseason and having a good start into the season. So that’s kind of my only focus right now since the other stuff hasn’t been brought up and I’m not a guy that likes to think too much about that stuff.”

Meier said he is looking 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 has been big changes and I haven’t met these people yet, so I’m looking forward to meeting them and get going and meet the new players that we acquired,” Meier said. “So I think it’s definitely a spark of new energy that comes into the organization and we hope to have success and get back into the playoffs.”

San Jose (32-37-14) finished 20 points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference last season; it was the third straight season the Sharks did not qualify for the postseason.

But Meier had a standout 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 beginning the process of retooling the roster. Whether Meier will remain with San Jose long-term to help that transition is 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.

“This conversation hasn’t come up and there haven’t been any negotiations or anything,” Meier said. “So my focus is in the right now and just getting ready for the season and playing the best season I can have. … I want to help the team have success, so that’s my No. 1 motivation.”

After trading defense Brent Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes on July 13 to create space under the NHL salary cap, Grier said he’d like Meier to remain with the Sharks beyond this season but hadn’t gauged his interest in doing that yet.

“Timo is a good player,” Grier said. “We hope he wants to be here, and until I hear otherwise, I’ll assume this is the place he wants to be.”

Meier said he believes the Sharks have 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 Oskar Lindblom (two-year contract), and defensemen Matt Benning (four-year contract) and Markus Nutivaara (one-year contract).

“We got some good new players that can definitely help us, but I think within the team, if everybody is taking another step, 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 provide more and bring that playoff spot back.”

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