3 painfully realistic Tyler Myers trade scenarios
Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
By Noah Strang2 months ago
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On September 15th, the Vancouver Canucks paid Tyler Myers a $5 million bonus. That means that there is just $1 million in real cash owed on the 5-year / $30 million contract the defenceman signed in the summer of 2019.
This event has Myers’ name back in the trade rumour mill, a place it’s been a lot over the past year, as the contract becomes much more palatable for many NHL franchises. With just one year left on the deal and $1 million owed, it’s the perfect acquisition for a team looking to reach the cap floor while saving money.
Unfortunately for the Canucks, there are no NHL teams currently struggling to reach the cap floor. However, this doesn’t mean that a trade is completely out of the question. A rebuilding team might be willing to take a chance on Myers and try to flip him at the deadline. As we get closer and closer to that deadline day and Myers’ cap hit continues to shrink, that possibility only becomes more enticing for clubs around the league.
Myers is still a smooth-skating NHL-caliber defenceman with a massive frame. He’s also a right-handed shot and could be a contributor to any team’s second or third pairing. While he was often criticized in Vancouver due to his cap hit and the fact that he was routinely asked to be a top-four player, the reality is that he is still a useful piece.
Another factor to consider is that Myers does have some trade protection built into his contract. He has a 10-team no-trade list, a tool that he could use to make any move difficult. For the sake of this argument, we will pretend that the following teams are not on this list.
There are a few teams around the league that make some sense as a Myers destination. Here are three of the most logical scenarios that could play out over the coming months.
To Sabres: Tyler MyersTo Canucks: 2024 6th Round Pick
Tyler Myers was drafted by the Sabres and played some of his best hockey with the franchise during the first few seasons of his career. He won the Calder Trophy while in Buffalo and a reunion does make sense in some ways.
The Sabres have almost $9 million in cap space meaning that they could fit in the full cost of Myers’ contract.
The Sabres do have a good young defence corps including superstar Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. Dahlin has played both sides in the past and if they deploy him mostly on the left this season, then the Sabres would have a mediocre right side led by veterans Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton, as well as younger players like Henri Jokiharju.
Adding Myers would help insulate that right side and not force the Sabres to deploy less experienced players like Jokiharju in too many difficult situations, ideally helping their development.
Since the Canucks get out of the full value of Myers’ contract, there is minimal return, if any at all.
To Blackhawks: Tyler MyersTo Canucks: 2024 6th Round Pick
The Chicago Blackhawks currently have the second most available cap space in the league, making them a possible landing spot for Myers.
The Blackhawks are in full rebuild mode and — barring a Teemu Selanne-esque rookie season from Connor Bedard — will be among the worst teams in the NHL this season.
With more than a decade of NHL experience, Myers would be a strong veteran presence to add to the Blackhawks dressing room.
The Blackhawks would then have the option of either keeping Myers for the season until his contract expired or trying to find another trade partner to recoup a higher draft pick.
San Jose Sharks
To Sharks: Tyler Myers (35% retained)To Canucks: 2024 5th Round Pick
The Sharks have been the team that have been constantly linked to Myers throughout this summer. At one point it was even reported that there was a “deal on the table” between the Canucks and Sharks to move Myers down to California.
The Sharks do not have enough cap space to take on the full value of Myers’ deal as it stands right now so they would need the Canucks to retain at least ~$2 million.
For the Sharks, it would make sense for them to acquire Myers in hopes of flipping him when the trade deadline rolls around. Especially if they can get the Canucks to retain a decent amount of the total cap hit, then Myers becomes an intriguing asset for a team looking for defence depth next spring.
The 5th-round pick that the Sharks give up in this deal would potentially turn into a 2nd or 3rd after they managed to offload Myers at the deadline.
While there are still a lot of hurdles to jump through for a Myers trade to actually happen, the $5 million bonus payment does open up some more possibilities. Expect the noise around a Myers trade to get louder as the season progresses and it becomes even easier for teams to fit him into their salary picture.
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