logo

What might it take for the Vancouver Canucks to re-sign Tyler Myers? Should they?

alt
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
22 days ago
The series continues with today’s re-signing candidate, Tyler Myers. We’ve gone through what it might look like if the Vancouver Canucks were to bring back Nikita Zadorov and Filip Hronek – but signing Myers may be the more accessible and realistic option for this management group. 
Chek TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported back at the beginning of March that there is mutual interest in an extension between both the Canucks and Myers. 
In Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman 32 Thoughts article on March 14th, he highlighted three players that the Canucks would like to keep – Tyler Myers was one of them. Don’t sweat Canucks fans; Friedman does mention that the Canucks interest in Myers only comes with a lower number. 
With the looming future of nine Vancouver Canucks free agents this offseason, it’s encouraging for all handful of you Myers truthers that he seems to be of high priority to the team – especially considering he was one of the three names the league’s top insider heard.
But before determining what this lower number may look like, let’s see if he’s a fit for this Canucks roster. 

How is Tyler Myers a fit for the Canucks?

In the summer of 2019, Tyler Myers, a right-shot defenceman, was the hottest defensive commodity on the free agent market. Fan favourite Jim Benning signed Myers to a five-year $30M contract that pays him $6M annually on July 1st that summer, but that contract runs out at season’s end. 
Myers missed five games this season but still has the fourth-highest minutes played among all Canucks defencemen. But he ranks third on the team in average ice time with 15:56 per game. 
Here are Myers’ numbers with all five defensive partners.
*All stats are at 5-on-5. 
It’s odd to see Myers’ only negative rating come with the player he spends the most time on ice with, Ian Cole. However, his on-ice analytics are the best with Cole, outside of the obvious Quinn Hughes bump that each defender on this team gets when on the ice with him. 
One noticeable tidbit about Myers’ game is his high-danger scoring chances for percentage (HDCF%). The American defenceman is on the positive side of 50 in that category with all five of his defensive pairings this season. This means that he uses his big frame in the high-danger area to limit the opposition’s high-danger chances – something that head coach Rick Tocchet praises. 
Canucks fans would also notice Myers’ value to the penalty kill. He is on the first defence pairing over the board when the Canucks are shorthanded. And that’s not new just this year – he has led the team in penalty kill minutes the last two seasons and four minutes shy of Alex Edler in the 2020-2021 season. 
It’s not just defence for Myers; he also provides on the other end of the ice. Hughes and Filip Hronek are the team’s primary source of offence from the back end, but Myers may rank higher than you think.
*All stats are at 5-on-5.
Myers ranks third in Canucks defensive scoring at 5-on-5. I found it interesting that he has one more 5-on-5 goal and one fewer primary assist than Hronek on the season.
While yes, I think Canucks fans can all agree that his AAV may have been a little high for the majority of his years here in Vancouver, but it’s unfair to say he hasn’t been a valued member of the team. Just follow the usage this team’s previous coaches have given him: 
Travis Green,
2019-2020 – 21:30 average TOI.
2020-2021 – 22:05 average TOI.
2021 – 21:42 average TOI.
Bruce Boudreau,
2021-2022 – 22:14 average TOI.
2022-2023 – 20:42 average TOI.
Rick Tocchet,
2023 – 20:57 average TOI.
2023-2024 – 18:57 average TOI. 
Each head coach has relied heavily on the former Calder trophy winner. This means he must be doing something right, right? 
Now that we’ve seen his value to the team, what might the ballpark be on this “lower number” Elliotte Friedman reported earlier?

How Much Will Myers Cost?

Unlike the last two players we’ve highlighted, there have yet to be any reports out there about what his contract may look like. All there is is a quote from Dhaliwal explaining the type of money his player type commands. 
“He’s (Myers) been great, 20 minutes a night on the second-best team in the league. You’re not getting him for 1-2 million dollars. Just like Chris Tanev, they’re veteran NHL right-shot defencemen. They’re going to get 3-4 million on a new deal.”
He later adds that Myers wants to re-sign in Vancouver because he loves it here. Months later, Dhaliwal has Myers’ agent, JP Barry, who reiterates Myers’ interest in returning. 
An important note from Barry here is when he says, “It’s going to be a different contract than the last time, and we know that.” These are encouraging words for Canucks fans to hear. Could Myers take somewhat of a hometown discount to stay in Vancouver?
With the Canucks projected to have $30.75M in potential cap space once the cap rises at league years end, along with the mutual interest, it seems like a foregone conclusion that they will likely get something done here. But how much?
A clear indicator of a player’s value is to look at their individual numbers and compare them to what other defencemen of their stature are making.
I’ve analyzed and compared Myers’ stats and analytics this season to twelve others in his age range that fit similar point total and penalty kill deployment to help gauge what his upcoming contract should look like.
*Players are ranked based on their average annual salary. All stats are at 5-on-5. 
Let’s first look at his analytics thus far this season. Now, this may be a byproduct of the team he plays on, as these analytics are on-ice-based, but Myers dominates this group. He ranks in the top five in expected goals for percentage (xGF%), scoring chances for percentage (SCF%), and leads the group by a long shot in HDCF%. 
Points-wise, Myers is tied for the lead with Brayden McNabb. Although he’s among the leaders on the Canucks in penalty kill TOI, he ranks towards the bottom of all the listed players.
Finding comparables for Tyler Myers was definitely the hardest to do thus far. His unique 6’8 frame would typically categorize him as a rugged, physical defensive defenceman, but his offensive production counteracts that. Let me know in the comments if you have a better comparable than the ones I’m about to list. 
The most comparable defencemen of this group to me are Chris Tanev and Brian Dumoulin. These two defencemen are the closest analytically, but both would be considered more of a prototypical defensive defenceman. 
The current Canucks defenceman has a four-point lead on Tanev, who also averages fewer hits per 60 by a wide margin but closely mirrors Myers’ blocks per 60 and penalty kill time per game. The now Dallas Stars defenceman signed his four-year $18 million deal with the Calgary Flames in his age 30 season. Now four years older and also due for a new contract at the end of this year, Tanev would likely see a dip in his $4.5M AAV. 
Dumoulin trails Myers in almost all individual stats: points (by 6) and blocks per 60 (by 2.32). He averages 46 seconds fewer penalty kill time, but he closely matches the physical side, only behind by 0.18 in hits per 60. The Seattle Kraken defenceman signed his two-year $6.25M deal this past offseason for his 32-33-year-old seasons.
Based on market value, I believe Myers’ next contract will fall somewhere between these two for his average annual salary of $3.15-$4.5M. To pinpoint it more accurately, I would expect it to be between $3.25M and $4M.
Now, before you rush to the comment section to roast this opinion, let’s quickly take a look at this year’s Canucks bottom-four defencemen. 
As you can see, Myers averages the most time on ice, has the most 5-on-5 points and has the best overall analytics. Now, with the way things are trending, it seems as though the Canucks won’t be able to keep both Myers and Nikita Zadorov. On the other hand, Cole will likely return on a cheaper deal, but speculation on him will come in a later segment of this series. 
So, if Vancouver were to choose Myers over Zadorov based on these numbers, I can’t see a world in which Myers would sign for less than what Soucy or Cole are making – thus landing him between the $3.25-$4M range highlighted earlier. Let’s not forget about the right-shot defenceman tax that Myers also carries. 
Is this a number you would be comfortable with to see the Chaos Giraffe return in blue and green next season?
You tell me Canucks fans. 

Check out these posts...