By: Adam Gretz
Tyler Myers is a core player for the Buffalo Sabres. He's a massive 6-feet-8, 230-pound offensively gifted defenseman that has recorded at least 37 points in each of his first two full seasons in the NHL, and is one of the many drafted and developed, homegrown players that fills the Buffalo roster.
That level of production over the past two years earned him a seven-year, $38.5 million contract extension prior to this season. And on Monday night when the Sabres visit the Montreal Canadiens, he's expected to be a healthy scratch and will watch his team from the Bell Centre press box.
In 16 games this season Myers has yet to score a goal and has been credited with just four assists, and has struggled defensively.
He is coming off a particularly tough game against Boston on Saturday, a game his team lost 6-2 and then watched as their starting goaltender, Ryan Miller, suffered a concussion, an incident that Myers was on the ice for and that his team has taken some criticism for based on their reaction. He finished the game as a minus-three, due in large part to a number of key turnovers and lapses defensively (including this one on Boston's first goal scored by Rich Peverley).
Said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, via Arpon Basu of NHL.com, "Some of his decisions haven't been very good. For Tyler to be better, inside the game he has to make some better decisions."
Even with the big contract and all of the individual success he's experienced over the first two years of his career, it's important to keep in mind that Myers is still a very young defenseman (he doesn't turn 22 until Feb. 1) and there will still be some struggles for him at this point in his career. Perhaps a night off and a new perspective on the game (watching it from above) can be a positive thing for him.
Mike Weber is expected to play in his place.
Photo: Getty Images