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Which defensemen should teams avoid in free agency?

June 7, 2019, 1:48 PM ET [26 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on which blueliners teams should avoid in unrestricted free agency.

Todd Cordell

Tyler Myers might not make it to the open market – the Winnipeg Jets seem intent on keeping him, especially if they deal Jacob Trouba – but he is not a guy teams should line up for if he does.

It's not that Myers is a bad player, per se. He just doesn't move the needle much, and he's going to get paid like someone who does.

Myers does not drive play, he does not create a lot of offense at 5v5, and he is not a great shot or chance suppressor.

Discipline is also an issue. Myers sits tied for 45th among defensemen with 52 minors taken over the last three seasons. His minus-28 differential is 30th worst during that span.

The overall package just isn't very good and that's quite unlikely to change as he enters his 30s.

Factor in Myers will command *at least* $5 million annually on a long-term deal and, well...pass on that.

James Tanner

Tyler Myers is the prototypical example of old-school NHL thinking whereby a player who was drafted high and is huge must automatically be good. A 48 point rookie season set the 6'8 defenseman up for Chara comparisons that he's never come close to living up to.

He is big and he shoots right, and it's not like he is completely useless, but the money he will get in free agency will be stupid. Myers at two million on a bottom pairing? I'll take him. But Myers at $6 million expected to play top four minutes? Yikes. He should be completely avoided by any team looking to remain competitive.

Even though he played on what should have been one of the best teams in hockey last year, he was a negative differential in shot-attempts, shots, scoring chances, goals, and expected goals. I do not see how a player can be effective if he is a negative in everything that leads to a goal. He isn't a good NHL player at this point in his career.

Peter Tessier

Teams need to lean far away from Tyler Myers. This is a player that is in the midst of his mid-career identity crisis and nothing looks right with him and that was evident most of this season.

Myers serves a purpose, he can play hockey but not at the level for what he's soon to be paid. At best he's a 4th in the depth chart but believes he can be so much more and tries to be by carrying the puck, playing like a winger. His underlying numbers present all sorts of flags and you almost don't need them as the eye-test is so convincing. However he's an RHD in a time when few ever see the open market so one team will pay him and hopefully it's not yours.

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