The Vancouver Canucks have received some interest in 6-foot-8 defenceman Tyler Myers recently. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators have looked into adding the blueliner but have not made a deal.
The Maple Leafs showed interest in the Myers after losing three of their top defenceman to injuries. However, a deal with the team is likely on hold as the club acquired Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes. Meanwhile, the talks between the Canucks and Senators involved Nikita Zaitsev returning to Vancouver. However, those talks between the two sides didn’t go too far, as neither Myers nor Zaitsev were asked to waive their 10-team no-trade clause.
These recent trade talks involving Myers have shown that trading the 32-year-old will be a difficult task for the Canucks to complete. The combination of his contract and production hurts any potential deal the organization attempts to make.
Myers’ Poor Production and Physicality
The Canucks signed Myers for two reasons, they needed a big-bodied defenceman with offensive instincts. Usually, a big-bodied defenceman brings a physical edge. However Myers has provided the big body, but he isn’t as physically imposing as expected. Since the 2019-20 season, he is the longest-tenured player on the blue line along with Quinn Hughes. Over the past four seasons, he’s posted a total of 331 hits, good for 4.11 hits per 60 minutes (Hits/60). Meanwhile, Luke Schenn has 359 hits in 86 games with the club, good for 14.46 Hits/60.
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As for his offensive production, Myers has seen a drop since joining the Canucks. Myers won the Calder Trophy in the 2009-10 season as he posted 11 goals and 48 points in 82 games. After an impressive start to his career, the blueliner failed to reach the 40-point mark again, as the closest he got was his 36 points in 82 games during the 2017-18 season. As a Canuck, he posted six goals and 21 points in each of his first two seasons with the club, followed by a career-low one goal and 18 points in 82 games during the 2021-22 season. This season, he is tied with Ethan Bear for the fourth most points by a Canucks defender with four.
Myers has experienced a decline in his production throughout his career, which has continued with the Canucks. What makes matters worse is his contract situation.
The Canucks signed Myers to a five-year, $30 million deal in the 2019 offseason. The defenceman had a no-move clause (NMC) in his first year, a no-trade clause (NTC) in the second and third years, and a modified no-trade clause (M-NTC) in the final two seasons, which included a 10-team no-trade list.
Now with two seasons remaining and an M-NTC, the opportunity to trade Myers is better than ever. However, his play makes it difficult to complete. The 32-year-old is underperforming his cap hit of $6 million. Additionally, he is due a $5 million signing bonus on July 1st, which is causing teams to be hesitant. A deal involving Myers will likely only occur if the Canucks add a sweetener.
Canucks Lack Sweeteners
Rick Dhaliwal noted the Senators may have asked for a sweetener due to Myers’ signing bonus. Additionally, he believes any other team that takes on Myers will want a sweetener. However, the Canucks don’t have much to offer to boost the value along with the defender. The club traded away their 2024 second-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in the trade involving Jason Dickinson early this season. Additionally, the Canucks are without their fifth and sixth-round picks in the 2023 Draft, therefore, the team doesn’t have many picks to give up.
In terms of prospects, the Canucks don’t have much to offer either. Unless the club is willing to give up a young player in Nils Hoglander or Danila Klimovich in a trade with Myers, they are out of options. Additionally, moving a young player is something the Canucks will want to avoid as they are trying to get younger.
Canucks Likely to Wait Out Myers’ Contract
With Myers’ high cap hit and poor production paired with the Canucks’ lack of sweeteners to add in a potential trade, the organization is more likely to wait out the defenceman’s contract. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs likely will wait for Morgan Rielly to return and hope for the best with their current d-core. The best chance the team has is if the Senators go ahead with a one-for-one deal, including Zaitsev, and the Canucks would have to retain some of Myers’ salary.
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.