Well, we all knew it was going to happen.
The Vancouver Canucks wasted no time in getting defenceman Tyler Myers signed on the morning of the first day of NHL free agency.
The team needed help on the right side of the defence with Troy Stecher and Chris Tanev as the club’s only NHL options. And general manager Jim Benning had expressed a desire to get bigger and more physical in the offseason.
In fact, the Canucks were the only team really linked to Myers—it was more or less a foregone conclusion that he would be landing in Vancouver.
In the end, it’s a five-year contract for Myers that will pay him $6 million against the cap per season.
He also got a no-trade clause because, you know, those types of additions to deals have never hurt the Canucks.
Yes, it’s better than the rumours that the Canucks were going to fork over seven years at around $7 million a season. But it’s still not great.
There’s evidence to suggest that Myers has been declining for some time now, and while it’s not a terrible price to pay him for the first couple seasons of the contract, it’s almost a guarantee the contract becomes an anchor after the second year.
Myers, after all, is 29 years old and will likely continue to experience a decline in his abilities. He put up 31 points in 82 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season, but his underlying numbers weren’t very good and he was demoted to the third pairing at times throughout the campaign.
He’s a big body (6’8, 228 lbs.) who will hopefully be effective at shutting down the opposing team’s forwards’ zone entries along the wall and can move the puck decently.
The Canucks needed someone on the right side of the blueline, and they could have done worse, at least for the next couple of seasons.
But the contract is essentially buyout-proof and impossible to trade. It won’t look good in a couple years. Just because Myers was probably going to get this in free agency from someone doesn’t mean that it had to be the Canucks. And it also doesn’t mean he’s not actually worth something like $4 million a year for two or three seasons.
The team will likely slot him next to rookie Quinn Hughes and talk about how their skillsets are a good combination. And maybe they will be. But putting one of the most dynamic skaters in the league with a player who's something of a defensive liability won't be without its growing pains.
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