The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenseman Tyler Myers to a five-year contract worth $6 million per season. The Canucks have also signed defenseman Jordie Benn to a two-year contract, as well as defenseman Oscar Fantenberg.
The Canucks get: A tall (6-8) blueliner who has failed to crack the 40-point mark since bursting onto the scene with a 48-point effort during his 2009-10 rookie season. Myers settled in as a second-pairing defenseman on the Jets who reached the 30-point mark over each of the last two seasons while receiving second-unit power-play time. On the plus side, he has been fairly durable recently, reaching the 80-game mark for two consecutive seasons.
Canucks’ fans might be somewhat relieved that the 29-year-old Myers didn’t sign for seven years at $8 million, as had been rumored. Still, this is not a value signing by any means, but it at least gives the Canucks the top-4 defenseman and the top-6 forward (J.T. Miller) that they had set out to sign this offseason.
Myers will likely be used on the Canucks’ second-unit power play along with rookie Quinn Hughes, a similar role he held in Winnipeg. The Canucks’ first-unit power play is still Alexander Edler’s to lose, but Hughes will likely take over at some point. When that is remains to be seen, although it’s possible that Travis Green could try Myers and his shot on the first unit if it struggles.
Over in Winnipeg, the top pairing of Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey stands to log a ton of minutes, now that both Myers and Jacob Trouba have departed. That could be especially concerning for the 34-year-old Byfuglien, who missed half of last season due to injuries and seems to be well-worn at this stage of his career due to a physical style of play. Best-case scenario, though, is that Big Buff manages to stay healthy for a full season and racks up big point totals and physical stats (hits, penalty minutes).
The Myers/Trouba departures likely mean Sami Niku is a full-time NHLer in 2019-20. Niku possesses solid offensive upside (54 points in 76 games in the AHL in 2017-18). As well, Neal Pionk (acquired in the Trouba trade) should also battle for power-play time.
Fantasy players this helps, in order:
Fantasy players this hurts, in order:
Troy Stecher (bumped off the second-unit power play)
Olli Juolevi (more likely to start the season in the AHL)
Fantasy owners are discussing this on the Forum – give your take here!