Myers making major impact
Could be key to trade in the long run
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/02/2015 (2954 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Three games into his time with the Winnipeg Jets and it’s becoming clear Tyler Myers is the key piece to last week’s trade where his new team is concerned.
Myers scored his first goal with the Jets in Monday’s 5-4 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers and has been pivotal in Winnipeg’s last two wins.
The 2010 Calder Trophy winner was said to have fallen off the past few years and the statistics would support this notion. Myers scored 48 points as a rookie and 37 in his second year and then never bested 23 over the next three campaigns.
Not coincidentally, the Sabres were a playoff teams those first two years and have missed ever since. The Sabres took a dive as a team and so did the reputation of Myers.
The move to Winnipeg, however, has unearthed the player Myers was when he first arrived in the NHL. Swift and decisive with a deadly shot.
Myers hammered a blast past Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth after a tidy feed from blue-line partner Toby Enstrom to tie the game at 3-3.
It was exactly as Jets management dreamed it up when they made the trade last week which saw Myers arrive from the Sabres. Enstrom is an elite passer and Myers has a stinging shot and the ability to get it through. You won’t hear the bang off the boards too often after a Myers shot. He finds the net.
A big part of what Myers will be expected to do in Winnipeg is get in position to receive passes from Enstrom and then create offence. Enstrom needs a finisher and that is now the responsibility of Myers. He may just prove to have been born for the job.
The conventional wisdom last week following the eight-piece exchange, which included Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian, going to Buffalo, was that Kane was the best player in the trade.
Well, that is presently not true right now as Kane is injured, and it may never be. Not if Myers continues along the path we’ve seen him take in his very early days with the Jets.
Impactful defenceman capable of playing solid in 5-on-5 situations as well as offering properly timed offence are rare finds in the NHL. Myers has been just that since pulling on a Jets jersey for the first time. He’s been reborn in Winnipeg.
Myers was expected to do everything in Buffalo. With the Jets he’s just expected to do his job on a back end that includes Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Enstrom. Myers doesn’t have to carry the whole load and it’s been liberating.
Myers signed a mammoth front-end loaded contract after his first two seasons with the Sabres and immediately became a target as the most expensive player on a losing team. Myers earned $12 million in the first year of his current contract and when the Sabres bottomed out, he was handed a disproportionate piece of the blame.
Now he’s a bargain in Winnipeg with a cap hit of $5 million per season and a salary that dives every year for the remainder of his contract, paying him just $3 million in its final year.
Myers holds value in so many ways. As a player and as an inexpensive asset in the league’s smallest market.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is gaining a reputation for getting great value from players such as Bryan Little, with his 23 goals and his $4.75 million cap hit. Myers is another shrewd deal for Cheveldayoff and his contract makes sense in Winnipeg.
Trading Kane has its risks. He may very well be a 40-goal scorer if the Sabres are able to draft Connor McDavid and the pair prove a match.
For the Jets, however, this deal won’t be judged about what went away. It will be deemed a success or failure due to what they received. And Myers is the key to that equation.
After three games it’s impossible to ascertain how all the players in this trade will pan out. But Myers has already shown a top end that justifies the price Cheveldayoff paid.
If he continues at this pace, Myers will have been a bargain.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @garylawless