Should the Canucks Acquire Tyler Myers?

Over the summer, there were a number of rumours
flying around connecting the Vancouver Canucks’ new General Manager Jim Benning
to the Buffalo Sabres’ Tyler Myers.  Why
not?  The deal makes sense, at least on the surface.  You have a gigantic right-handed young defencemen that skates well, who
could step in with Dan Hamhuis injured, and has the pedigree coming from being
a first round pick and a Calder trophy winner only few years ago. 

But is this prospective deal really one that the Canucks should explore? Read past the jump as we delve into the career of Tyler Myers.

Myers broke into the NHL back in 2009-2010 with the
Buffalo Sabres, jumping straight from the WHL. He put up 48 points (11 goals and 37
assists) in 82 games in his rookie NHL season.  That play allowed
him to earn the Calder Trophy, beating out the likes of fellow rookies Matt Duchene, John Tavares, and Jimmy Howard.

Myers boxcar numbers look great on the surface, but they start to be
worrisome when you look deeper into them. 
Myers was able to achieve his rookie output due in large part to a 10.6% Sh%, the
highest of any rookie defencemen. 
BehindTheNet shows he had the highest on-ice PDO of any Sabre defencemen
at 101.6% thanks to an on-ice sh% of 9.72% and an on-ice save% of .918.  Unsurprisingly, his offensive output since 2009-2010 has continued to
decline having posted 0.46, 0.42, 0.21, 0.35 and 0.24 points per game in each proceeding season.

He posted these numbers with some of the
team’s worst possession numbers of -3.3 Corsi Relative while facing some of the
easiest competition too.  We can forgive that as that was his rookie year, as a young
twenty year old, so we should fast forward to look at his current and last full
season. 

woi usage chart

This season through 21 games Myers has been facing some of
the easiest opponents while being buried in the defensive zone, and as a result
he continues to have negative possession numbers (-4.40% Corsi Rel, 7th
best among Buffalo defencemen).  Last year, Myers had
similar deployment numbers but was slightly positive in terms of possession (+1.77%
Corsi Rel, 4th of all Sabres defencemen). 
Only once in his career has Myers posted
possession numbers above 50% which was back in 2010-2011.  

hockeyanalysis 1

We can also look at the WOWY’s
of Tyler Myers.  The good news there is
that he doesn’t stand out as a player who hurts you on the ice.  The bad news is that he doesn’t make a case
that he makes his teammates better with him on the ice.

capgeek

So what will it cost to acquire such a talent like
this?  Myers is currently signed on a 7-year deal
at $5.5 million a year until the 2019-2020 season.  It’s likely that the Canucks could fit him under the cap
given the LTIR relief they will get with Hamhuis injured, combined with
the fact the Canucks are not up against the cap themselves. 

The question then becomes do the Canucks actually want
Myers?  Myers appears to be a player who
had a great rookie year that was highly percentage driven.  Because of that he has a reputation as a good
player without having been able to back it up on the ice. I imagine Myers would
be a decent bottom or maybe second pairing defencemen, but $5.5M against the salary cap each season is a steep price tag.  For that price, he should be driving play more than he is,
scoring more points, and making others better.   

The only way the Canucks should be interested in
acquiring Myers is if the Sabres are going to ask for what amounts to spare parts in return.  Tim Murray is committed to a full-on rebuild in Buffalo and may not see Myers as a core piece, but that doesn’t change the fact that the asking price for Myers is pretty damn high.  Vancouver doesn’t exactly have a large collection of prospects either, so parting with any number of prominent ones will hurt this team long-term.  A 6’7″, right handed defenseman is also a rare commodity on the open market, and one that is likely in huge demand by NHL GMs.  There is no reason why the Sabres would drop their asking price.

To put it all together, Myers is likely overrated based on a lucky rookie performance, carries a cap hit above the production he brings, and will likely cost too much to be viable for Vancouver.  A true elite defenseman is still something the Canucks need, but Myers isn’t that guy.  Tyler Myers is one of the few player whose entire
career is considered “just a sophomore slump”.

  • This title should be renamed “Should the Canucks Acquire Evander Kane?”

    Or if we’re feeling espescially delusional, “Should the Canucks Acquire Ryan Johansen?”

    An expensive project defenseman is not needed here…

  • andyg

    The Canucks Front Office are just the kind of idiots who WOULD pay 2 1sts for a guy like Myers. They are laughably behind the times when it comes to Analytics and are a laughing stock in the NHL because of it.

  • andyg

    Nope. Don’t want him at anything close to that asking price. His contract is onerous so even if you got him for nothing, you have that ugly contract to deal with. Only a desperate gambler would go after Myers.

    If the Sabres eat some of the money and take some spare parts then maybe. Sure, he has potential but I’m not willing to gamble on him regaining his unrealistic rookie form.

  • andyg

    If Myers contract weren’t so Luo-ish… I would say yes, but 7 yrs at 5.5 is too long to take on.

    Benning seems to be focusing on Flexibilty in the short term and any player getting a long term deal should be a corner stone player. If Hammy is coming back in the spring then I don’t see why a guy like “Willie Mitchel” shouldn’t be explores. A vet that can play a some fill in minutes and doesn’t have a long term deal.

  • andyg

    Acquiring Myers for a steep price, after trading Garrison for a bad of rocks – is so Benning.

    Garrison is clearly a better quality dman than Myers, for a longer time as well. He also has a better contract and lower cap hit. So the fact that Benning traded him for a healthy scratch- and has been rumoured to look for another Sbisa (Myers) – no one should be surprised. NO one.

    • Mantastic

      There is no argument to be made about who Benning has brought in, except for maybe Miller. I was never high on that signing and we could have used that money for another top pairing Dman, or another scorer.

      I have no doubts that Lack could put up at least the same numbers without the 6 mill cap hit.

      The rest of the players he has brought in have been player better than expected, with maybe the exception being Vey.

  • pheenster

    Alex Edler 2013-2014 63 gp 7g 15a 22P -39 $5,000,000
    28 6’3 215 Shoots Left

    Tyler Myres 2013-2014 62gp 9g 13a 22P -26 $5,500,000
    24 6’8 220lb shoots right.

    Yes Edler even in the year he had last year is probably a better possession player, but he has also had better players around him his entire career. Hard not to figure given the time he spends on the ice with the Sedins helps drive his better corsi.

    The price would definitely have to be right, and currently that is not the case.

  • Fred-65

    I can’t imagine the line up to aquire Meyers is very long. and beside we just traded the one player that we could manage to move in a deal…Mallett. Part of Buffalo’s current prtoblems IS Meyers why would we take him off their hands…maybe if THEY were to throw in a first round pick to sweeten up the deal…maybe…naw not even that would do it

      • Mantastic

        If the Canucks get into a real bind on defence and desperately need a top 4 defenseman, a rental player could be cheaper to acquire as short-term stop gap than a long-term guy like Meyers. And IF (that’s a huge MF’ing IF) the Canucks can maintain this level of play, and they need an extra body for the playoffs, and IF Green could be had for a reasonable price, why not at least kick the tires.

    • pheenster

      I’m not sure Green is the answer. I question his durability especially during the stretch run in the West. If you look at his basic stats, getting a full season out of him has been the problem over recent years.

  • elvis15

    Here’s where I wonder if it would make sense: Buffalo is a young, rebuilding team that could use leadership – would a deal like Bieksa for Myers straight up (or Garrison prior to us moving him) be in our favor? We’d be moving an aging defenseman for a younger one and swapping similar cap hits. Would Buffalo accept?

  • The former Sabres players currently on the Canucks aren’t exactly lighting the league on fire…

    I’ve been agreeing with NM00 a lot lately, which is deeply troubling, but I agree with him again here – a $5.5 million defenceman with questionable abilities is not what the Canucks need. They’ve got a collection of young D – Tanev, Sbisa, Stanton, Corrado, etc – who range from “legitimate top-4 talent” to “servicable on the bottom pairing”. They’re not hurting for youth, and they’re not hurting for talent long-term, so bringing in a guy signed until the end of time to a huge contract is a really bad idea.

    If they want to bring in another solid D on a reasonable contract (Schlemko?) or a good player on an expiring contract (Petry) to fill the gap left by Hamhuis, that’s reasonable, but bringing in Myers would handcuff the team long-term.

    • elvis15

      NM00 is just as troubled as you…

      The last time a core defenseman was injured, the Canucks ended up with Andrew Alberts.

      If there’s an acquisition, that’s probably what we’re looking at.

      A marginal upgrade that may not be an upgrade at all…

      The elephant in the room is that the Canucks have not had a top defenseman prospect in the system since the days of Edler and Bourdon (RIP).

      Gillis and co did well with Tanev as he’s exceeded all expectations.

      But the lack of depth shows when a core defenseman is injured…

  • DrChill

    Hey Josh

    Like the Article and agree with your sentiment.

    With Cap issues and Franson looking to cash in this offseason. Wondering what your thoughts on acquiring him from TO. How do you see him fitting on out right side as say our 4? Does he fit in WD system?

    Edler Tanev
    Hamhuis Franson
    Sbisa Bieksa

    ??

    Thanks