Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers agrees to seven-year, $38.5 million extension with Buffalo

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After the reports came down yesterday about how Tyler Myers was working on a contract extension with the Buffalo Sabres, it shows that sometimes there’s truth to a report.

The Sabres announced today that Myers has agreed to a seven year contract extension with the 6’8″ 21 year-old defenseman. With Myers heading into his third season in the NHL, and the final year on his entry level contract, he was due to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Rather than waiting until then, and perhaps after seeing some of the difficulties other teams have had in getting guys re-signed this summer, the Sabres moved quickly this summer to get Myers a new deal.

Myers’ contract will pay him $38.5 million over the seven years, good for a $5.5 million cap hit over that time. The Sabres’ salary cap situation heading into next season will be a juicy one as, according to CapGeek.com, the Sabres will have over $55.5 million in cap commitments for next year with just 16 players under contract. Pegulamania continues to run wild in Buffalo even with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement still to be worked out after this season as owner Terry Pegula continues to show his dedication (and his money) to the players.

The payout, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, on Myers’ deal is a fascinating one. Myers gets a $10 million signing bonus when the contract starts on July 1, 2012 and a $2 million salary. Each year after that sees him get paid $6 million in year two, $5 million in years three and four, $4 million in year five, $3.5 million in year six, and $3 million in year seven. Myers will be 28 years-old in the final year of his deal. McKenzie says the huge signing bonus works as potential lockout money in case the league and the players association can’t get a new Collective Bargaining Agreement worked out next summer.

In his first two seasons with the Sabres, Myers has been a revelation on defense. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in his first season after putting up 11 goals and 37 assists while averaging 23:44 of ice time per night. Last season, his scoring numbers came down a bit with 10 goals and 27 assists and averaged 22:27 of time on the ice. The small bump in the road in his sophomore season wasn’t enough to deter the Sabres from giving him a long-term deal.

Myers now joins Christian Ehrhoff as long-term commitments to the Sabres after Ehrhoff signed a 10-year, $40 million deal with Buffalo this summer. With Myers and Ehrhoff, however, these are two guys that you won’t likely see work on the same pairing as they play similar games. Unless Myers turns into a Zdeno Chara-like defender, it’s doubtful you’ll ever see the two paired up together on anything other than the power play.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

Ryan Johansen
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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.

Flyers’ Gagner to miss another week after Malone hit

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The nasty blow Sam Gagner took in Monday’s game against Carolina will keep him on the shelf for a little bit.

On Wednesday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said the club expected Gagner to be out around a week with injuries suffered on the hit, delivered by ‘Canes forward Brad Malone (per the Inquirer).

Gagner suffered a fairly significant facial laceration, which forced him from the game entirely. He didn’t practice on Tuesday and, in a corresponding move, the Flyers called up Colin McDonald from the AHL to fill Gagner’s spot on the roster.

This is the second facial injury Gagner’s suffered in recent years. He’d previously had his jaw broken by an errant Zack Kassian high stick, while he was with the Oilers and Kassian the Canucks.

Prior to getting hurt, Gagner had two goals and five points in 18 games, averaging just under 12 minutes per night.