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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: Tyler Myers

It’s no secret the Canucks are in need of a makeover on the back end. They were one of the league’s worst teams in terms of producing offense from the back end, and their bottom-ten shot share indicates they have some work to do on the defensive side of the puck as well. Quinn Hughes will undoubtedly help their outlook, but many sources close to the team have indicated that they will be looking to add another blueliner in free agency or via trade.

This morning, in an article for Sportsnet.ca, Iain MacIntyre speculated that the Canucks have interest in right-handed Jets defenseman Tyler Myers:

This is why it’s unaffordable, and probably downright foolish, for the Canucks to chase a defenceman like Erik Karlsson in free agency. But there are a few defencemen in a second, still-expensive, tier that could help the Canucks.

The best of these are Jake Gardiner, 28, and Tyler Myers, 29. Both are probably going to get overpaid, compensated in another thin free-agent class like No. 1 or No. 2 defencemen, even though they’re second-pairing guys. They’re also still young enough to command long-term deals, but how long is Benning willing to go?

A lot of teams liked checking centre Jay Beagle last summer, but only the Canucks were willing to give the 33-year-old a four-year deal.

The Canucks may have a better chance at landing Myers, who is less offensive (read: cheaper) than Gardiner, grew up in Calgary and played junior hockey in Kelowna, where he met his wife. Myers also plays the right side, where the Canucks are more needy. Both Hughes and Juolevi are lefties.

Myers would likely improve the team’s outlook on the right side, but would command significant money and term. Would you sign Tyler Myers? Why or why not?

Last week I asked: What changes, if any, would you like to see to the playoff format?

Billy Pilgrim:

No need to change anything. Just because Toronto doesn’t match up well with Boston should not mean that the whole format is wrong. There is parity in the NHL. None of the top teams were without flaws. Injuries and suspensions change things. Deal with it.

Goon:

I’d prefer going back to a straight 1-8 (1/2 being first in their division, 3-8 being based on points & wins alone), so weaker divisions aren’t rewarded with automatic playoff berths. A couple times since we’ve moved to this format we’ve seen five teams from one division get in, and much weaker teams in the other division afforded home ice advantage. Otherwise it’s fine.

Forever 1915:

Upsets are a good thing, that’s what makes things exciting. If anything, make officiating consistent with the rules rather than putting away the whistles (when the league feels like it).

Defenceman Factory:

The playoff format is just fine as is. Teams that start slow have 5 months to adjust, coach, trade and develop to get better. The quality of a team can change dramatically over the course of the season. Good teams that plateau and coast into the playoffs get beat sometimes. Good, keeps it exciting.

Salary caps create parity and a 7 game series means winning is not the random luck of one game. Good, depth, determination, effort and quality coaching play major roles, as it should be.

The only thing I would like to see change is greater rule consistency between the regular season and playoffs.

North Van Halen:

For those of us old enough to remember, there was no funner time to watch the playoffs than the 80’s & early 90’s when there was only 21 – 24 teams and 16 made the playoffs. They seeded back then entirely by division 1st vs 4th, 2nd vs 3rd in each of the 4 divisions.
Despite a bunch of really mediocre teams making the playoffs and the Canucks being fodder for the powerhouse Alberta teams, they were fantastic.
They played each other 8 times a year and then again in the playoffs. The hatred was real and the rivalries were amazing. Montreal vs Quebec or Boston, Philly vs Pitt, NY vs NY, etc. Edmonton & Calgary were the 2 best teams in the NHL and they played every year in the second round.
Thats what the NHL is trying to recapture here, those kind of head to head yearly playoff match-ups because that is how great rivalries are born.
That said, with 31 teams and cross over wild cards, you will never recreate that kind of anmosity league wide. There will be a few like Boston & Toronto or Wash vs Pitt but there just won’t be those yearly meetings except amongst those teams occupying the top for a few years (we all remember Van & Chicago) so this format really doesn’t have the same appeal as the past -on a side note why do so many want to try to make things the way they were instead of trying to make things better moving forward but I digress.
With all that said, I really don’t see any reason to change the structure. Can’t beat a rival (looking at you TO) get better. The league is cyclical and at some point the weak will be strong and vice versa changing which divisions are stronger than others. During late 90’s & 00’s the Western Conference was far superior to the Eastern, Eastern conference teams had much easier paths to the playoffs and to the finals it was what it was and it is what it is.
I’m not much for excuses, if you want to get out of your division beat the teams in front of you, don’t whine to make your path easier, no sympathy.

TheRealPB:

It might be really good to think of new/different formats, if only to make the regular season mean more. We fetishize the Stanley Cup and playoff hockey and there’s lots of stuff I love about it but when you think about it it’s still a little crazy that we assign more value to a max of 28 games over two months versus 82 games over six months. What is harder to do — be consistent over the long haul or catching fire in a short series? We’ve seen so much of the latter — TB and Calgary both had their ups and downs over the season but were generally excellent. Then they run into hot goalies and get some bad breaks over a few games and they’re gone. Were the Bruins a better overall team than us in 2011? No way. And the ‘playoff rules’ for refereeing are also absurd because they clearly favor certain styles of play.

I think it would be better to have a shorter regular season and/or move to multiple tournament formats. That’s what the NBA is considering so that you actually get your money’s worth if you’re going to a regular season game and you don’t just have lots of people sit out or try not to get injured or just have nothing to play for in February.

I’d love to see the NHL experiment with a multiple mini tournaments. I don’t know what exactly that would be but maybe something that gets rid of the fillers — the All Star game or World Championships and offers something else. Maybe other kinds of mini tournaments with less overall games in the regular season and a Memorial Cup style battle of champions?