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.

Jaden Schwartz’s hat trick leads Blues over Blackhawks

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Jaden Schwartz‘s third career hat trick helped power the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in a Central Division clash Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.

Schwartz’s eventful evening began with a goal 4:46 into the first period. It was nearly ended minutes later after a scary crash into the end boards following a scoring chance.

After missing some time, Schwartz returned in the second period and doubled the Blues’ lead with his fourth of a season, thanks to a great outlet pass from Allen.

As the Blues built up a 4-0 lead, the Blackhawks spoiled Allen’s shutout bid with a pair of late power play goals 80 seconds apart. The furious rally was stopped, however, and Schwartz capped off his hat trick with an empty netter to put the game out of reach.

St. Louis dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Blackhawks 26-8 as they built up their 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks’ power play failed them early in the game, missing out on five chances to capitalize with the extra man through 40 minutes.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Kings

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The Montreal Canadiens play their second game of a three-game west coast trip Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

It hasn’t been the best start for the Habs, who sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference with a 1-4-1 record. They’re winless since an opening night win over the Buffalo Sabres. On the other side of things, the Kings are the only NHL team that has yet to lose in regulation. Their 4-0-1 start puts them a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, and their game in-hand gives them the opportunity to leap into first place in the Pacific Division with a victory.

You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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Leafs’ Marleau becomes 18th NHL player to reach 1,500-game milestone

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Patrick Marleau’s three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs will end two months before his 41st birthday, a summer when many believe his NHL career will come to an end.

But as he celebrated game No. 1,500 Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings, the veteran forward was talking about reaching another kind of milestone.

“I’m going to keep going as long as I can,” he said Wednesday morning via Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “I don’t know if my wife’s ready to have me at home full-time yet. If I feel good and still think I can contribute then I’ll keep it going.”

Marleau is the 18th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 game mark. Should he stay healthy and play the entire 82-game slate or close to that, he’ll enter the 2018-19 season 11th all-time in that category. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 games played.

Health has helped the 38-year-old Marleau reach the mark in his 20th NHL season. He hasn’t missed a regular game since the 2008-09 season and hasn’t played fewer than 74 games in a full season in his entire career.

Marleau has gone from being the youngest player in the league to the sixth-oldest in the span of 20 years and considering his history of good health, better fitness regiments of players and treatment by training staffs, challenging Howe may not be a crazy idea.

Of course, that is unless Jaromir Jagr sticks around. If that happens then Marleau would likely have to settle for No. 2.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Blues

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This week’s edition of NBCSN’s Rivalry Night will feature a central division clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.

It’s still early days, but the two sides are battling atop the Central, with the Blackhawks powered by great starts from a number of players including Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking to halt a two-game skid after winning their first four games of the season. The game also features the return of NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk to the booth.

You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Blues get Alexander Steen back against Blackhawks

Return to the booth is Eddie Olczyk’s ‘best medicine’

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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