Maple Leafs Should Have Interest in Philippe Myers

After right-shot defenseman Philippe Myers was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers with Nolan Patrick to the Nashville Predators for Ryan Ellis last July, he played just 27 games with the Predators. It didn’t work out that well; and, as a result, he found his way to the Toronto Marlies at the trade deadline as part of Alex Biega trade. He was the “future considerations.”

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The fact that he was loaned to the Maple Leafs is interesting because, after Myers cleared waivers during the season, he played for the Marlies rather than in the Predators’ organization. It would seem that the Predators are no longer interested in keeping the 25-year-old Moncton, New Brunswick, native around. 

Myers Fall from Grace with the Flyers and Predators

At one time, the un-drafted Myers seemed to be set as a pillar on the Flyers’ defense. The Flyers eventually traded him. In addition, when he got to Nashville, he didn’t play well enough to keep a steady job (only four points in his 27 games) and his time-on-ice dwindled. 

Philippe Myers Philadelphia Flyers
Philippe Myers, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Here’s where it gets interesting. Myers made Frank Seravalli’s (of DailyFaceoff) list of 25 potential trade targets for the offseason. Myers was listed at #10.

Seravalli noted that Myers was “a player who has already passed through waivers? Myers represents a unique and quirky opportunity for a cap-strapped team that can trade for him and actually create salary-cap space with a buyout. Because Myers is 25 and his deal is backloaded, his buyout would result in a $616,666 credit on next season’s cap, followed by a $633,334 charge the following season.”

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The fact is that the Predators would have to cover only one-third of the remaining salary. That means that, for one season before the penalty kicks in, the Predators could actually create extra room on their salary cap if they used the money to sign a free agent or re-sign one of their own players.

Where Might the Maple Leafs Fit In?

But, what about the Maple Leafs? They should be interested in one of two ways.Myers was a dominant player in the AHL, had a long look and experienced some success with the Flyers, and is a big, physical, right-shot defenseman. Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas has a way of looking for and signing these kinds of players to AHL contracts – think Brennan Menell last season. Because, well, who knows?

Hence, if Myers will get bought out, and that looks like a strong possibility, would the Maple Leafs be interested in Myers at a smaller contract than they might have had to pay Ilya Lyubushkin? He’s the same sort of player, except perhaps Myers might have more of an upside because he’s a bit bigger and is just as physical. He would save them some salary-cap space.

Related: Maple Leafs Not Getting What They Need From Muzzin or Holl

If the Maple Leafs are interested in Myers, they might trade for him. Or, they might try to sign him after he’s been bought out by the Predators. We know that Myers was excited to play meaningful hockey with the Marlies rather than being in and out of an NHL lineup.

Might Myers Replace Holl with the Maple Leafs?

If the Maple Leafs have any interest, they could trade for the 25-year-old and then buy him out; or, they could wait and try to sign him if he’s traded to another team and then gets bought out. A case could be made that the Maple Leafs might be lacking defensive depth heading into next season. 

Philippe Myers Philadelphia Flyers
Philippe Myers, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Interestingly, the one Toronto player who made Seravalli’s likely trade list was Justin Holl. If Holl is moved out as a salary-cap dump for a prospect or draft choice, that leaves Timothy Liljegren (assuming the young defenseman doesn’t gets offer-sheeted or – if he is – the Maple Leafs don’t match any offer sheet that comes). T.J. Brodie will be play on the right side; and, without Holl, there’s a space.

In short, there should be some interest in the big, right-shot defenseman. He presents a unique opportunity for the team.

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