Tyler Myers If You Wiiilll
Yesterday, EK wrote a column on here about a handful of players rumored to be on the move and the teams potentially interested in gaining said player's services.
One of the guys he touched on, that the Cats could be pursuing, is the big man billed from Texas and playing for Winnipeg: Tyler Myers
The Jets are definitely in a tough position this offseason as they have decisions to make as to what dudes to sign and which ones to ship out.
I've liked Myers for a number of years, though, admittedly, I don't know a ton about him/his style of play. I've just liked what I've seen in the games I've watched him in. Props to Jets fans Islanjet and Ross77 for chiming in a couple blogs ago to give some insight from the perspective as guys who watch him regularly.
The feeling seemed to be that he's a solid third pairing guy (though he'd be higher on FLA) who plays well against the opposition's lower lines, but can struggle at times against tougher/more skilled competition.
Honestly, I'm good with this.
For me, the thing I like about Myers is the 6' 8", 229 lb frame and his ability to move with it (at least from what I've seen). His reach and natural ability to take away space on the ice seems like a plus, too.
In fact, I was recently chatting with our friends over at Talkin' Hockey: The Hockey Talkin' Show (find 'em on Soundcloud) and since they're Jets fans, I asked if they could also give a their thoughts on big #57. Like the gents they are, they sent over a nice little blurb:
"For a big guy like him, he can skate, and he's got some pretty soft hands. Some fans think his defensive coverage leaves a little to be desired, but I personally think he plays a really solid game all around.
I think he should get more PP time, as he is a pretty good passer and he's got a good shot. I like the way he can skate through the neutral zone and move up the ice.
He's a fan favourite in Winnipeg and I'd be sad to see him go, but when it comes to salary cap issue, the Jets have got 'em and they just can't keep everyone."
This, Ross77's assessment, combined with my own eye test, gets me pretty pumped about the idea that the Panthers could potentially be in on the Myers sweepstakes.
Let's pretend Q and Tallon bring him in...
I think the first thing that gets fixed under Q is the line about, "some fans think his defensive coverage leaves a little to be desired."
At 29, with 635 games (10 years) under his belt and playoff experience, he could be a nice veteran presence and would play a different style than most of the guys currently platooning Florida's blue line.
Personally, I think there's too many guys with the same mindset back there. That, combined with the scheme (or lack of?) that Boughner was running, was a recipe for disaster. I've never seen so many defensemen rush the puck up so often - most of the time getting too low in the offensive zone and relying of forwards to cover for them. Not to mention how gassed they must have been constantly doing that.
My hope (and belief) is that Q and Tallon are on the same page in terms of what they need on the back end. I think they'll get it and Q will run a simplified system that works/complements the styles they have. Because if you don't play defense, you won't see a lot of ice time.
A guy like Myers could be an ingredient I believe is really missing on the backend - which is a leader. I believe Ekblad will be that guy in the future, but he's not quite there yet; and while a lot of folks will point to Yandle as that guy, I'm not sure he is (personally). I know he apparently keeps it loose in the locker room and on the ice, which is great, but I don't really see the leadership traits there - just my opinion. Myers could have a chance to go to Florida and be "the guy" for he Panthers blue line.
The other thing that can be appealing with Myers is his time spent in Winnipeg, which, let's face it, is a lot different of a market than Florida. He's played in a hockey hotbed for four years now. He's had to deal with the ups and downs that come with playing in a market that can sometimes look at their players through a microscope - both from a fan and media perspective. A guy that has experience in that aspect of the game, and has been molded by that kind of environment, can be a nice addition and bring a different mindset/approach.
It's going to be really interesting to continue seeing the rumors of who the Panthers are checking in on as these next few months roll on.
If Tallon was serious with his statements at the deadline, there should be a couple splashes made.
Until then, keep your eyes peeled and your ears clean (to better hear any news) and enjoy where the ride takes us...