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Blog Entry

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

Posted on: September 15, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: September 15, 2011 11:36 am
 

By Brian Stubits

Yesterday the news came down that an extension for Tyler Myers was close in Buffalo. Today the deal is done after Myers and the Sabres reached a seven-year deal.

"We had two sides that wanted to stay together," Myers' agent, J.P. Barry, told the Buffalo News on Wednesday. "Tyler wanted to remain a Sabre, and having this done at an early stage was something that he wanted. He's happy that the club approached him about wanting to do this early."

A short while after the team announced the seven-year deal, the numbers on the contract slipped out. From Darren Dreger at TSN: "Myers 7 years, $38.5. $10M signing bonus July 1, 2012, the first day of ext. That means over a quarter of the contract is paid on day one." The Associated Press confirmed the value of the contract.

That part about the signing bonus and so much being paid on the first day is bound to raise some eyebrows. The contract is incredibly front-loaded, somewhat similar to many of the contracts that have drawn criticism in recent years, most notably Marian Hossa's and Ilya Kovalchuk's. But moreover, many are viewing it as an indication of the labor situation in the NHL.

From TSN's Bob McKenzie:

"Myers' $10M SB amounts to lockout protection. IF there were, say, season-long lockout, he'd still get his $10M, only lose $2M in salary."

With the length of the contract, it will take Myers until he is 28 and if an extension isn't signed before then, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency. Of course, with the way things are starting to go in Buffalo with new ownership, I'm not too sure why he would be interested in leaving if the future really is as bright as it seems.

Myers, one of the biggest players in NHL history at 6-feet-8, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie two seasons when he scored 11 goals with 37 assists and a plus-13. A debut season like that had people envisioning the next Zdeno Chara, a mountain of a man with a massive shot on the blueline. But he regressed some last season, seeing his point total dip by 11.

I must admit, I'm leery of such a long contract. There are very few players that I'd be comfortable signing to such a long deal and they are of the Alex Ovechkin/Steven Stamkos mold. It's just a risky proposition, you never know what could happen.

But of course the other side of the coin is that it gives the Sabres long-term stability at an important position with a potential perennial all-star.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

Other teams - some may argue - could feel compelled to make similar risks in order to remain competitive.  It's a specious argument; don't blame others for your foolish decisions.  Risk is not a bad thing; it is the corollary to opportunity.  Making bad decisions on a routine basis is simply bad business.  Given Pegula's business track record, I think we all need to give him some credit on this count.  If he is wrong - if I am wrong - then the league is not going to pay.

I think we certainly are getting a lot closer to agreeing on things, that's for sure.   I'll meet you half way on what you said in your above paragraph.  If Pegula is wrong, you said the league is not going to pay.  I believe the league will still pay, but only in the short term and not in the long run.  For example, he just signed a kid with 2 years experence and only one very impressive year to a deal for 33 million dollars at 5.5 million per season.  In my opinion for the next 2 summers at a minimum, good and proven NHL UFA dmen will use contracts like the Myers contract to their benefit. They'll say if Myers can sign for that kind of money before he was even eligible to become a RFA let alone an UFA they deserve an even bigger deal and certainly more then 5.5 per season.   So for a couple summers I think we'll see a lot of players be overpaid or at the very least paid a lot more then even they expected to be paid.

BUT... I will say this as well.  If contracts like the Myers contract don't pan out, eventually adjustments will be made and what players sign for in the next couple summers of free agency won't matter nearly as much.  The problem is this is going to take a couple years before we see an adjustment... how many teams can afford to take a big hit before an adjustment is made, if of course Pegula is wrong?

You said Pegula might be the richest owner in the NHL, I agree 100 percent.  I looked it up and from what I can tell the guy is worth just over 3 billion dollars for God sakes.  To put things into perspective I'll just say Mike Ilitch is only worth a little over 1 billion dollars, and we're seeing what he spends to make his teams successful without hurting himself or his family.  The guy is always in the top 10 in team salaries for both the Wings and the Tigers and on a personal level isn't affected one bit.  Just imagine what kind of damage a man worth 3 billion dollars can do in sports ( or imagine what amazing things he's capable of, the verdict on Pegula's success or lack there of is still not in).  The guy just sold a business he owned 65 percent of for a whopping 4.7 BILLION dollars. His share was about 3 billion dollars just for that sale alone.   The interest alone on his after tax net return, whatever that is will probably be enough on a yearly basis to fund the Sabres.  A guy that rich doesn't need to worry about 60 or 70 million dollar payrolls for business ventures that are even close to profitable.  I think that's another reason a guy like Pegula scares the crap out of me when he signs unproven players to huge deals, especially in a league not as strong as some other sports organizations.  The worst he could do is hurt the NHL but he never has to worry about hurting himself.  


 



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: September 17, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

redwings1969, we're close to being on the same page with each other.  That's the beauty of the CBSSports boards; we can start out appearing to being a loggerheads, and end up learning things through the lively discussion.  (At least I learned things.)

I am not disagreeing with your final paragraph, but I believe it deserves a closer look.

I still say NHL contracts are getting very stupid and increasing at a rate that I'm not sure the league can keep up with.

(My emphasis added.)  In recent years both Ottawa and Buffalo have gone through bankruptcy.  The league owns the Coyotes.  Nashville is purported to have serious financial problems.  Even teams in large markets with recent on-ice success are reported to be in trouble, (Dallas & NJ).  I am not here to debate if the reports about these teams are true or not, but the frequency of this type of report certainly points to a league that is not keeping up with fiscal responsibilities.

We need to remember, however, that unless the situation becomes so messed up with any given franchise that the league must step in; the full risk of the "very stupid" contracts falls entirely on the owner of that franchise.  Terry Pegula is a multi-billionaire with a passion for hockey*.  He is, I believe, the richest owner in the NHL.  (* He gave $88MM to Penn State Univ. for them to start a Division 1 hockey program.)  The truth is that he can afford to take more than one $38MM hit.  If the Myers' contract turns out to have been a bad decision then he is going to take the hit.  Sabres' fans are not going to be asked to pay a penalty, and the rest of the league is not inconvenienced.

Other teams - some may argue - could feel compelled to make similar risks in order to remain competitive.  It's a specious argument; don't blame others for your foolish decisions.  Risk is not a bad thing; it is the corollary to opportunity.  Making bad decisions on a routine basis is simply bad business.  Given Pegula's business track record, I think we all need to give him some credit on this count.  If he is wrong - if I am wrong - then the league is not going to pay.

Some cities have a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting FA's due to location; other teams have an edge because of a strong tradition, (e.g., Detroit).  Everyone has got to reconcile themselves to the fact that Buffalo now has a competitive advantage; they have an owner willing and able to take risks and to spend money.  Because he has such deep pockets he is not putting the league at risk in the process.




Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 16, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

redwings1969, I am sorry for not having been more clear.  I have no problem with your messages and I have no interest in insulting anyone.  Regular readers of these boards know that you are a strong contributor to the quality of the CBSSports hockey messages.

Thank you, I appreciate that very much.  I try my best to be a strong contributor although I have to admit sometimes I get a little carried away, I have to try and control myself a little more this hockey season.

What cannot be logically established is that Doughty is FAR better than Myers.  Neither player has played long enough to make that assertion.  Therefore, this comes down to what kind of player do we think Myers will be.  If he's a disappointment then the Sabres made a poor decision.  If he becomes a star, then this was prescient and an extremely shrewd move.  We won't know who is correct until another few seasons.

Just to be clear when I say or imply that Doughty is "far" better then Myers I only do so for a couple reasons.  One, he has one more season under his belt then Myers does and the second reason is when you look at his last 2 seasons individually and head to head, he outplayed Myers in both seasons.  What I'm looking at in their case is points and plus minus for the most part for both seasons as well as what i remember of the games I watched both players play in this past season.  

What I do agree with 100 percent is when you said if he becomes a star, this becomes a shrewd move but if he doesn't it becomes a poor decision.  I think we'll know sooner then in a few years though... but, we'll see.  

I still say NHL contracts are getting very stupid and increasing at a rate that I'm not sure the league can keep up with.  I hope I'm wrong because I love the NHL and want the league to be as healthy as can be.  With a new CBA coming up soon it'll be interesting to see what happens the next time around.   



Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

Had no idea Myers was a duel citizen, thats disappointing he will not be a rep for USA.



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:49 am
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

I think he was born nin Texas, and I think perhaps one of his parents died at some point in time and he promised to play for Canada.
Myers was born in Houston, TX, USA, according to the Sabres roster report on CBSSports.  Therefore, I believe that he must have American citizenship.  I recall him talking about going to a Houston Aero (AHL) game as an eight year old and falling in love with the game.  His Dad was in the oil business and soon after that he moved to Alberta, (I think his Dad is a Canadian).  So, he grew up in Canada where he could develop his passion for hockey - otherwise he probably would have become a basketball player.

If I am right, he had Canadian heritage, and we know that's where he grew up.  Just because he was born in Texas, I don't think anyone should fault him if he identifies himself as a Canadian.  As a great player, I would like him to play for the USA, but under the same circumstances I would probably play for Canada too.  Let's face it, playing for the USA team is an honor; playing for Canada is an intense honor.



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:33 am
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

I should have proofed my last message; I am sorry for the sloppiness.

3) There's plenty of hate that is beginning to be seen directed towards the Sabres.  Because of point 2, I love it!

Should be 3) ...  Because of point 1, I love it!

We can the barbs about "he hate me" to the less intellectually endowed.
This becomes much more clear when we include: We can leave the barbs about "he hate me" ...



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:16 am
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

First, I want to thank hockeybob.  It has been a pleasure - perhaps an honor - to debate with you.

redwings1969, I am sorry for not having been more clear.  I have no problem with your messages and I have no interest in insulting anyone.  Regular readers of these boards know that you are a strong contributor to the quality of the CBSSports hockey messages.

I think if you read into my message that you'll find a bit of a backhand compliment to you.  If I have been too subtle, I am sorry.  What I am really saying is this.  I generally dismiss any messages where someone complains about hating.
1) People generally reserve "hate" for good teams; why bother when it comes to mediocre or bad teams?  Those teams are simply dissed or ignored.
2) Most people resort to "hate" complaints when they cannot think of anything more original to state.
3) There's plenty of hate that is beginning to be seen directed towards the Sabres.  Because of point 2, I love it!

If the market for Doughty is expected to be between $6-7MM/year, and if the market for established all-star blueliners is a $1MM or more higher than that, then the contract for Myers is an extremely reasonable risk if you expect that Myers will develop into a perennial all-star.  Most people that have watched this young man believe that is more likely compared to him becoming a disappointment.

What cannot be logically established is that Doughty is FAR better than Myers.  Neither player has played long enough to make that assertion.  Therefore, this comes down to what kind of player do we think Myers will be.  If he's a disappointment then the Sabres made a poor decision.  If he becomes a star, then this was prescient and an extremely shrewd move.  We won't know who is correct until another few seasons.

Castigating the Sabres for a "ridiculous" move is what is ridiculous.  Meanwhile, I would prefer if we could debate meaningful points. We can the barbs about "he hate me" to the less intellectually endowed.



Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2011 9:26 am
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

 did not know that Myers had dual citizenship, but I know that he moved to Canada as a kid.  He grew up there and I would not blame him a bit if he thinks of himself as a Canadian.  I would actually be surprised if he played for the USA if he is eligible to play for Canada


While he was playing in the world juniors I am sure I heard the story of how it happened.  I think he was born nin Texas, and I think perhaps one of his parents died at some point in time and he promised to play for Canada.  Always wanted to play for Canada as well.  Not positive about this, I forget stuff sometimes, but I can't imagine that my brain is just making this story up.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2011 9:10 am
 

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

Tyler Myers will be a hall of fame player some day. Once he learns to be more consistent, he will be fine. I'm looking forward to him playing on USA in the Olympics

ok lets see here, the HOF comment is ridiculously premature at best. Many Calder trophy winners fizzle out. You can continue to look for him on the US olympic team all you want but he wont be there, he'll be playing for Canada. Good insight though.


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