New guys recharged

Coming to playoff contender exciting for ex-Sabres


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The hockey part, that's easy for Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/02/2015 (2954 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.


The hockey part, that’s easy for Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers.

They’ve been re-energized moving from the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres to their new hockey address here in Winnipeg. And so showing up to the rink every day with a team in a push for a playoff spot tends to get the juices flowing again.

“It’s such an easy transition coming to a group like this,” said Stafford prior to Monday’s 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers — a game he left in the third period with an upper-body injury.

“They’re such good guys and they’re right in the middle of the hunt. The pace is high, the intensity is high. It’s a lot of fun out there. I’ve been fortunate enough earlier in my career to be a part of some pretty good playoff teams that managed to go on some runs. I know what the feeling is like. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really been there the last couple of years for (Buffalo). But I’m looking forward to jumping right into the mix here and being a part of the hunt again.

“As far as chemistry, it is difficult sometimes being new guys coming in into certain situations,” added Stafford, who joins the “Minnesota Mafia” in Winnipeg along with Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien. “But this one I think is a little different because of the type of character in this room and this organization from management all the way down. Everyone here has been extremely accommodating for Tyler and I. It’s been seamless so far and Tyler and I are doing our best to try and fit in and compete and work for the boys.”

Now, as smooth as the transition might be on the ice, off it can be a different story.

Stafford and his wife, Hali, are new parents — son Mason was born just five weeks ago — and leaving those two behind hasn’t been easy. One day Stafford wakes up in Buffalo with his family, the next he is traded and off to Nashville then Detroit and finally to Winnipeg on the weekend.

“I haven’t gone through this before in my nine years,” Stafford said. “I’m trying to sort that out, but it’s one of those things where you have to kind of compartmentalize a little bit and make sure your priorities are in order. For now, I’m trying to make sure I’m settled at the old Fairmont there, and as we go along here see how it goes and hopefully I can get my wife, Hali, and my son up here. And the dog… hopefully.”

Myers said when the team arrived home from Detroit in the wee hours Sunday he wasn’t in the mood to really get out and explore his new hockey home. Getting put through the emotional wringer can grind a guy and Sunday’s day off was spent just vegging.

“As hectic as the first couple of days were, I took (Sunday) as a day to relax and let everything soak in a little bit,” said Myers. “We have another day (off, today)… it’ll just get easier as we go.

“I’m sure I’ll look for a place to rent eventually. A bunch of the guys have already helped with people who can help us find a place. Getting out of the hotel would be nice, but for me there’s no rush.” Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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