It’s beginning to seem like a theme in July. The Vancouver Canucks make a free agency signing (or signings) that have the hockey world scratching their heads. This year it’s Tyler Myers at five years for $6 million per year.
While this isn’t as atrocious as it initially could have been, the Vancouver Canucks make a signing on July 1st that isn’t popular in many circles outside of “Old School Hockey Men”. With rumours floating around in the week prior to free agency that the deal could have been seven years at $8 million average annual value (AAV) this could have been a much worse situation.
So i'm already seeing it.. People are honestly ready to cheer on the Myers signing because it "won't" be 8 million per year.. That's where it's at.
— Blake Price (@BlakePriceTSN) June 29, 2019
Tweet courtesy of @BlakePriceTSN
Tyler Myers is an NHL Blue liner without a doubt but he could be miscast and played up the lineup at times. What he does bring to the table however are great size and decent puck skills. The 6’8″ defender has a massive frame and outstanding reach. This profiles as an outstanding feature for a blue liner. His skating is good for his massive size and he can be a freight train once he gets up to speed. The Canucks showed that is a video they posted to their twitter.
BIG man. BIG moves. 🚨🙌 pic.twitter.com/ifH5lcD3Dy
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) July 1, 2019
Tweet courtesy of @Canucks
This contract is too long and for too much money. Often playing on the third pairing last season on the Winnipeg Jets , Myers struggled at times. He was often paired with sub-par players and was unable to raise his game to cover for them despite being in favourable matchups against the oppositions lesser skilled offensive players.
Myers has been a steady 30-point defencemen that’s often touted as a two-way or offensive blue-liner. This isn’t the case however, as he is often a source of possession metrics that are less than favourable. His time in Winnipeg and his time with the Buffalo Sabres to begin his career do not show much variance in any either Corsi For (CF%) or Fenwick For (FF%) in the chart below, courtesy of Hockey Reference.
While some may try to blame the poor possession or play driving metrics on his teammates in Buffalo or his reduced role and poor quality of teammates in Winnipeg, the fact of the matter remains that Myers isn’t a positive factor on any pairing that he was on last season. The chart below from Sean Tierney’s Public Tableau show just that.
Canucks July 1st Misstep
Myer’s doesn’t drive possession and he isn’t a positive impact offensively at all. He isn’t particularly skilled defensively but does have the advantage of size. His last major award or accomplishment was his Calder trophy win in his rookie season over a decade ago. He’s been riding that accomplishment since then and in combination with his mammoth size, he often gets overvalued by the “eye-test” on both ends of the floor because there are tools that are evidently there. The problem is that he can’t be expected to put the whole package together and be a serviceable top-four defender this late into his career.