2013-14 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Tyler Myers
The Buffalo Sabres 2013-14 season was one of the worst in franchise history, and now it's time to take a look at who made it all possible. We're grading everybody who played at least 20(ish) games for the Sabres this year, from Conacher to Weber.
Contract: Signed through till 2018-19. 2013-14 salary $6,000,000.
Report Card Grade in 2013: D (link)
Introduction: Sabres fans were really hoping they would see more of the Calder Trophy winning d-man and less of the shortened-season lumberjack we had last year. Unfortunately, we got a bit of both this year. In the last report card for Myers we said that as the 6'8" defenseman goes, so do the Sabres - we saw that proved again this season as Myers had an abysmal start to the season and Buffalo were awful as well.
Myers also missed some time this year with injuries and a suspension - first a right knee ailment followed up by a left elbow injury, and then missing the last ten games of the season with broken ribs. He did recover to play for Canada in the World Championships, battling the flu while there. In between all that he was suspended for three games by the NHL for clobbering Dainius Zubrus in the head.
Injuries aside, Myers had a rough start to the season, but got better in 2014 before injuries derailed the rest of the regular season. He's always looked his best when leading the rush and carrying the puck, and unfortunately that's what led to his broken ribs against the Habs when he crashed into the goalpost.
Key Stat: '-26' - That was Myers' +/- for the season. What might be the only saving grace for him is the fact that the entire Sabres team was awful in this category - the more minutes you played the worse your +/- got. How's this for another stat - the only player who played over 60 games and had a plus/minus in the negative single digits was Zemgus Girgensons with -6 from 70 games.
Thumbs Up: While not condoning the hit to the head on Zubrus (an iffy call at best), we definitely saw a meaner Myers this season. His PIMs were up to 58 highest of any year in his career and his interference calls have been steadily increasing, while he also picked up two fighting majors as well. Fans have been clamoring for a more physical presence on the ice from Myers, and he looks like he's headed that way.
Thumbs Down: Here are Myers' point-per-game numbers for all his NHL seasons: 0.585, 0.463, 0.418, 0.205, 0.355 - even if we ignore the shortened 2012-13 season, the trajectory is still in the wrong direction for a player whose cap hit is $5.5mill for the next three generations. Part of this might be from Ted Nolan's reliance on him for defensive situations - Myers had the lowest zone start percentage (offensive zone starts per all zone starts) and also had the lowest offensive zone starts (24.5%) of all Sabres who played more than 30 games.
Memorable Moment: While goals didn't flow too freely for Myers this season, the bulk of his points came on the rush as he charged forward. Here's one against the Bruins -
However, his best offensive game was against the Blue Jackets in Buffalo, where he scored this beauty and followed up with another one later.
Of course, when you have a player of Myers' size, it would be remiss of us to leave without showing you at least a crushing hit.
Voting: We're grading on a curve this year, adjusting for the Sabres organizational ineptitude. So, using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season (again, for the worst team in the league) grade Tyler Myers on his performance this year.
How would you grade Tyler Myers on his 2013-14 season?