Today, we're going to talk about one player who just won't seem to go away from Red Wings trade rumors. That player is the 6'8", 227lbs blue-liner Tyler Myers. Typically whenever there is talk about Tyler Myers coming to Detroit, disdain is plentiful from Red Wings faithful. Why is that? Of course it's mainly related to statistics. There's no doubt Myers has seen significant regression since his Calder-winning rookie season in 2009, where he put up 48 points in 82 games. But how much of his regression is smoke & mirrors?
Birth Date: February 1, 1990 (25 years old)
Place of Birth: Houston, TX
Experience: 5 years
Drafted: Drafted by Buffalo in 2008, 12th overall
Tyler Myers is an OK skater for a guy with his lanky frame. He can play in all situations, and can take on top minutes, and primary competition. Out of all players on the Sabres this season, Tyler leads in average ice time at 25:13 per game. Yes, he does boast the worst Relative Corsi% for defensemen on his team, but how bad is his team? Historically bad, in fact. The 2014-2015 Buffalo Sabres are possibly the most outshot team in NHL analytical history. That's why I say his numbers might just be smoke & mirrors. No, seriously.. They are that bad. Look:
The Buffalo Sabres are now the most out-shot team (EV) in analytics era history. It is February 4th. (Pace: -1794) pic.twitter.com/ee0uRziFVs— Travis Yost (@TravisHeHateMe) February 4, 2015
The Pros and Cons:
As I said before, Tyler Myers has been handling a hefty workload for the Sabres since he came to them. Any 25 year old defenseman who can play those kinds of minutes is worth something, in my opinion. His contract is cap-friendly at $5.5 million until 2019. If he did come to Detroit, I don't know if he would start off manning difficult assignments like he is in Buffalo. I have a feeling they might put him somewhere on the 2nd pairing, and give him time on the PK and the PP, while slowly getting a handle for what he can do. I have reason to believe that a guy with his skating abilities, and offensive upside might flourish under Babcock's system. It's not crazy to think that, mind you. Detroit has done this before. But what are the cons? It's obvious.. He could very well be moved to Detroit, and then continue his statistical mediocrity. I think the biggest turn off with Tyler Myers is the price. Ted Nolan said in an article (credit: John Vogl of the Buffalo News) that Tyler Myers is the kind of player you build around. I had the pleasure to get some insight from some folks who do coverage for the Sabres to better handle just what the price might be at the trade deadline..
First up, the always enjoyable Joe Yerdon (NHL.com, SB Nation):
I honestly don't buy that Murray is actively trying to move Myers. I think he's listening and if someone makes an offer that's anywhere near the ballpark then he talks about it.
My belief, and it's based on no inside knowledge at all, is if Myers is going to be traded it'll be for a top, young player in the NHL now and either a top prospect and a pricey regular, or a 1st this year and a bad, heavy contract.
The money on Myers' contract is the sticking point because the Wings are near the cap. That means someone who's getting paid has to go the other way. That affects the return in a big way. Murray will take on someone's bad contract but it comes at a steep price. My assumption is if a deal happens with Detroit, Jakub Kindl automatically goes to Buffalo. That doesn't do too much good though for Buffalo. That's where names like Tatar and Nyquist come up. Same for Larkin too. A deal like this won't be easy but tinfoil hattery says Marschenko getting a look could be part of it.
From Buffalo's view, if Myers goes then Pysyk takes his place in the NHL and Marschenko takes Pysyk's spot in Rochester with Chad Ruhwedel becoming the top RHD there.
Regardless, if Detroit wants Myers, the price will be uncomfortable for fans. That means it'll be the closest thing to a fair deal as possible.
Tyler Myers has come a long way over the past few years, and has become a much more consistent player these days, even if he isn't quite as explosive as he was during his rookie year. Myers works best when paired with a stay-at-home defensemen (he's curerntly paired with Josh Gorges) who allows Myers to use his excellent skating ability to carry the puck up the ice and jump-start the offense. He'll work great on a team's second pairing, with a little less pressure to stop the opponent's top producers, though he can certainly serve on the top pair if needed. He can quarterback the power play effectively if not incredibly, and has become a very effective penalty killer thanks to his size and reach.
As for what the Sabres looking for in return, that's tougher to say, as Tim Murray has stated multiple times this season that he's not actively looking to deal Myers, and the fact that there are so many teams that seem to be interested. Murray will wait until he sees a deal he really likes, and I could certainly see his price being too high for anyone to bite. I really think he'll be looking at Anthony Mantha in a deal for Myers, along with another lesser prospect and a pick somewhere in the first two rounds. The Sabres need players that can help them this season or next, and players with significant upside to help them stand out from their dozens of intriguing prospects.
It's clear to me - Buffalo isn't actively shopping Tyler Myers. Sounds like Tim Murray is listening to what teams are offering, and countering with something that sweetens the deal for the organization. Most Detroit fans been vocal about it, players like Tomas Tatar (because HSJ thinks that would happen), Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha are not worth exchanging for Myers. Some agree, others disagree. I stay committed to not being willing to give up any of those assets for Myers. In recent news, Jim Matheson has reported that players such as Larkin and Tatar are deemed "untouchable," while others such as Anthony Mantha, Xavier Ouellet, Axel Holmstrom, Alexey Marchenko, Teemu Pulkkinen, and Tomas Jurco could be in play for trade-bait. So for all of you folks who despise the thought of him in a winged wheel, I would say you're safe from that becoming a reality. I think there are much cheaper options out there who might be just as good, if not better players than Tyler Myers. I just don't think this trade is happening.