From the very start of the interview process for free agency, the Vancouver Canucks and defenseman Tyler Myers were in communication with each other. The Canucks wanted Myers and Myers was happy to accept their offer.
On the eve of free agency, media scribes like Darren Dreger, Andy Strickland, and Frank Seravalli were reporting Myers to Vancouver was a lock. Dreger said:
No reason the Canucks and Tyler Myers won’t come to terms. Vancouver is considering structural options. It’s expected details will be worked out tonight or in the morning.
Those details were worked out and he signed a five-year, $30 million deal on Monday.
Why the Canucks Wanted Myers
Myers is a ten-year NHL veteran, having spent time with the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets. In 635 career NHL games, he’s put up 74 goals and 191 assists for 265 career points. A first-round, 12th overall draft pick of the 2008 NHL draft by the Sabres, his ceiling was exceptional.
Outside of his Calder rookie season, Myers has never really reached that potential, but he’s been consistent, he’s big, he’s got skill and he’s still only 29 years old.
He was part of the Sabres organization until a part of a huge trade in February 2015 that sent him, Joel Armia and Drew Stafford to Winnipeg for Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian.
Did Vancouver Pay Too Much?
While a reliable defenseman, the knock on Myers going into free agency was that he had the potential to be the overpayment of the summer. There was speculation he’d command as much as $8.5 million from some that were a bit out there with their predictions, but even at $6 million, could Myers’ contract be one the Canucks come to regret?
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet says $16 million of the $30 million will be paid in signing bonuses.
While a solid two-way player, he’s not a number one or even a top-pair defenseman, if you ask most people. He has good mobility despite his size but his possession numbers weren’t great, and often against weaker opposition. He can be a giveaway machine and often look lost.
The Canucks are gambling that he’s more of the good qualities and less of the bad and hoping his size and heavy style of play will make life miserable for opponents.
A Stronger Canucks Defense
The Canucks had a number of items on their to-do list heading into free agency. At the top was improving their blue line.
They were able to re-sign Alex Edler just prior to the free agency window and with Myers now on board, the Canucks are in much better shape. He’ll be responsible for not only providing stability to the blue but being a good role model for youngsters like Quinn Hughes and Guillaume Brisebois.
Only time will tell if this was a great get to land one of the biggest d-men in free agency or a rush to overpay for someone who’s never quite been as fantastic as he was his rookie season.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”