Buffalo - October 27, 2014 - It didn’t take long, but the NHL rumor mill is already warming up.
One of the favorite names mentioned in those rumors is none other than Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers. You may remember the 6’8” defenseman from any complaint registered by any Sabres fan ever. He’s also the 2010 Calder Memorial Trophy winner as the NHL’s top rookie.
Since that sparkling rookie year, it’s been tougher sledding for the lanky defenseman. His offensive game dried up and his confidence looked like it took a big hit playing under former coaches Lindy Ruff and Ron Rolston. He was indecisive, making bad passes and shying away from leading the rush.
When Ted Nolan took over last year, something happened. Myers started slowly yet again, but as the year wore on, Myers looked a little bit better. He was making better decisions with the puck, leading the rush once again and even displaying a physical side that no one had really seen out of him before.
Slowly but surely, Myers has emerged to once again become the team’s best defenseman. He’s quick and smart with the puck, displays patience when necessary and can lead a rush like few big men in the game can. He’s still finding his offensive game, but let’s face facts here: the entire team is still looking for its offensive game.
His detractors (anyone who doesn’t watch the Sabres) will be quick to point out his past and awful plus-minus numbers when trying to tell you that he’s awful, overpaid and not worth trading for. But the smart ones (Sabres fans and the few who realize what a garbage stat plus-minus is) know that’s not the case. They know that Myers is on the rise again and gaining confidence. They know that his possession numbers are solid and that on a better team, his numbers would stand out to more fans.
Having said that, all of the rumors regarding a possible trade of Myers are just that: rumors. General Manager Tim Murray has shown in his short tenure that he makes the best possible decisions for the franchise and that trading Myers at this time probably isn’t the best decision. Then again, some team could get desperate and make him a Godfather offer that he can’t refuse, but the likely scenario is that teams will poke around, make an offer and reject Murray’s asking price. Which is fine, because why trade away a valuable asset when you are fine with him sticking around?
At 24 years old, Myers isn’t done growing as an NHLer. He’s still learning the game, developing and becoming a better player. He’s been unfairly compared to his rookie season successes and even more unfairly judged by those who don’t take into account just how bad the Sabres are.
Myers appears to be a very valuable piece to the Sabres rebuild efforts and it’s going to take a lot to get him away from Murray. Just don’t expect anyone to meet those demands.
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