On signing bonus eve, are there still any teams out there that might be interested in Tyler Myers?

Photo credit:© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
10 months ago
A happy Signing Bonus Eve to all those who celebrate, chief among them Tyler Myers, who’s about to receive a cool $5 million in his direct deposit as of tomorrow morning.
There was a lot of speculation over the past calendar year about when exactly Myers’ signing bonus was scheduled to be paid, and whether or not the date could be altered. The latest possible date ever floated was September 15, 2023, and it now looks as though that was the correct estimate.
Why does it matter? Well, once that $5 million is paid, Myers is owed just $1 million in base salary throughout the remaining year of his contract. The theory has always gone that, at this point, Myers becomes a much more appealing potential acquisition to the budget-conscious team, and that this could make him, once again, tradeable.
It’s not, of course, set-in-stone that the Canucks themselves are interested in moving Myers. Their RHD depth remains in question, GM Patrik Allvin has made statements to the contrary, and Myers is already in Vancouver preparing for camp. But cap constraints continue to dog the roster,  and removing Myers’ $6 million cap hit from the books is the simplest, most direct, and most effective means of gaining financial flexibility for the franchise.
If there are indeed still teams out there that are interested in Myers’ services now that his signing bonus is paid and he’s available at a bargain price, it’s something that the Canucks will have to at least consider.
Which leads us to our titular question: are there still teams out there interested in Myers?

Who’s not interested?

In order to be even vaguely interested in Myers, we reason that a team would need to have A) a gap at RHD and B) enough cap space on hand to make a transaction in which they take at least a little extra on.
Let’s start with a who’s who of who’s not.
The following teams should have no real interest in Myers at this point in the season:
Anaheim Ducks: They signed Radko Gudas and Ilya Lyubushkin to support Jamie Drysdale and their bevy of other incoming RHD prospects. They’re good.
Boston Bruins: Capped out and already have Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Kevin Shattenkirk at RHD.
Calgary: Plenty of RD coverage already in the form of Chris Tanev, Rasmus Andersson, and Nikita Zadorov (not to mention MacKenzie Weegar, who plays on the left).
Carolina Hurricanes: Perhaps the best RHD depth in the league with Brent Burns, Brett Pesce, Jalen Chatfield, Tony DeAngelo, and more.
Chicago Blackhawks: Already have three vets at RHD with Seth Jones, Connor Murphy, and Nikita Zaitsev. Oddly enough, their deepest spot by far.
Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar is a whole right side in and of himself. Samuel Girard and Josh Manson are plenty behind him.
Columbus Blue Jackets: A few too many RHD with Damon Severson, Adam Boqvist, Andrew Peeke, Erik Gudbranson, David Jiricek, and so on.
Dallas Stars: Arguably a positional need at RHD, but no cap space whatsoever, so Miro Heiskanen will play on his off-side with Jani Hakanpaa and Nils Lundkvist.
Detroit Red Wings: The newly-acquired Jeff Petry and Justin Holl join Moritz Seider on the right side.
Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers would probably love to upgrade either side of their blueline, but they simply lack the cap space. Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard, and Philip Broberg will have to do.
Los Angeles Kings: The RHD keep coming and they don’t stop coming for the Kings. Drew Doughty, Brandt Clarke, Matt Roy, and so on.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild already have Jared Spurgeon, Calen Addison, and Alex Goligoski on RD, and then there’s Brock Faber and a host of other prospects knocking on the door.
Nashville Predators: The trio of Dante Fabbro, Tyson Barrie, and Luke Schenn is going to have to be enough for the Preds.
New Jersey Devils: Dougie Hamilton, John Marion, Colin Miller, Simon Nemec. ‘Nuff said.
New York Islanders: Capped out, and holding on to Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, and Noah Dobson at RHD.
New York Rangers: Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba, and Braden Schneider don’t leave much room for anyone else on the right.
Ottawa Senators: For the time being, Jakob Chychrun, Artem Zub, and Travis Hamonic is good enough for their RHD purposes.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Pens have definitely already filled their ‘offseason expensive RHD vet acquisition’ box with Erik Karlsson, who joins Kris Letang and a few other depth pieces. No cap.
Seattle Kraken: The recent expansionee could always use depth, but are more than fine at RHD with Adam Larsson, Justin Schultz, Will Borgen, and side-switchers Vince Dunn and Jamie Oleksiak.
St. Louis Blues: They already have Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, and Robert Bortuzzo kicking around, and should probably be rebuilding anyway.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Never have any cap, and have more than enough RHD depth in Mikhail Sergachev, Nick Perbix, Erik Cernak, and Darren Raddysh.
Toronto Maple Leafs: No cap, and TJ Brodie, John Klingberg, and Timothy Liljegren on hand. Not an inspiring group, but good enough.
Vegas Golden Knights: The Cup-winning right side of Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Zach Whitecloud, and Ben Hutton, plus absolutely no cap room.
Washington Capitals: With John Carlson returning alongside Nick Jensen and Trevor van Riemsdyk, the Caps are probably good. No cap space anyway.
Winnipeg Jets: A RHD of Dylan DeMelo, Neal Pionk, and Nate Schmidt isn’t inspiring, but good enough for the Jets’ purposes at this point.

Who might be interested?

Those keeping score at home will notice that there are still seven NHL teams yet unlisted. These are the teams that we think could theoretically have some mid-September interest in Myers, though even that is far from certain in some of the cases:
Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes have been thrown around as a Myers destination because he connected well with head coach Andre Tourigny at the World Championships, and because they’re resplendent with cap space. But Arizona also added all of Matt Dumba, Sean Durzi, and Troy Stecher at RHD this offseason, and they’ve still got prospects like Victor Soderstrom in the mix. The roster fit just isn’t there at this moment, and it’s reasonable to conclude that the Coyotes have moved on from this possibility.
Buffalo Sabres: Myers’ first team has also been rumoured as a potential destination for him before, but it’s hard to figure out where they stand with their RHD. They’ve got all of Henri Jokiharju, Connor Clifton, and Erik Johnson in the mix, plus Rasmus Dahlin, who played most of last season on the right. Some might see a need for more right-handed depth specifically, so as to allow Dahlin to stay on his natural side. The Sabres do have more than $8 million in cap space heading into the season, so they could take Myers at his full cap hit without blinking. It’s an interesting possibility, to say the least.
Florida Panthers: Last year’s Stanley Cup finalists will start the season without top RHDs Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, each out until potentially the new year. It’s entirely possible, then, that Florida opens the season with zero right-handed defenders on the roster, and that’s a problem. They will almost certainly be seeking some injury coverage there, and Myers is someone who can at least eat minutes in an ongoing fashion. A $6 million cap hit is unwieldy in a temporary replacement, but if they can use LTIR to make the numbers work for the time being, Myers might be the best option they have.
Montreal Canadiens: The Habs probably shouldn’t worry too much about their fortunes this season. But with a roster that young, insulating the prospects is always a goal, and some extra depth on the blueline never hurts. David Savard is their only locked-in piece at RHD, and the rest could probably use some seasoning in the minors. Montreal is capped all the way out at the moment, but if they end up placing Carey Price on LTIR, they’ll obviously have ample relief space. They also have a couple of meh contracts on hand that they could feasibly flip back to Vancouver to lighten the Myers’ cap hit. There’s a fit here if the Canadiens want there to be.
Philadelphia Flyers: If the Flyers are deluded about their chances of turning it around quickly (and with John Tortorella at the helm, they almost certainly are), they will probably want to add to their blueline. Right now, the RHD consists of Rasmus Ristolainen and Sean Walker, which is far from ideal. The ongoing LTIR of Ryan Ellis provides the cap space and roster room for Myers, and we can’t help but to think he might just be the perfect saviour for this misguided franchise. Plus, the image of Torts coaching Myers is simply too good.
San Jose Sharks: Same as it ever was. The Sharks remain the best and most likely fit for Myers out there. They’re ostensibly rebuilding, but still holding on to a couple of key veterans who can’t be very happy getting whomped every night. The departure of Karlsson leaves a lot of minutes to be picked up at RHD, and none of Matt Benning, Jan Rutta, or Kyle Burroughs should probably be the ones to do so. The Sharks almost have enough cap space for Myers’ full deal, and with a little retention, anything is possible. There was some smoke here earlier, and it could very well still be smouldering.
And that’s it. As of this writing, all indications are that Myers will be a Vancouver Canuck to start the 2023/24 season and that a trade is not being pursued. But if that changes, or if it were never true to begin with, there are at least a few possibilities out there to be explored.
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