There were plenty of people that criticized Tyler Myers’ play last season.
That group of people now includes…Tyler Myers.
“I think I’ll be the first one to say I wasn’t anywhere near where I should’ve been last year,” Myers told the Sabres Hockey Hotline radio show on Thursday.
Last year was a continuation of the slump that’s dogged him since winning the Calder Trophy in 2010. His offensive production –- he had 48 points in 82 games during his rookie campaign – has declined since he broke into the league, bottoming out with a career-worst 0.08 point per game average in 2013.
And his struggles were capped off in one of the worst possible ways, when he suffered a broken bone in his leg in April, prematurely ending his year.
Myers has since rehabbed his leg, but also spent considerable time working on the mental part of his game.
“Going into seasons in the past, I’ve never trained my mind like this so it’s a different approach and I’ve actually really enjoyed it,” he explained. “I’ve really tried to embrace the work behind it – to just be prepared for any type of situation that comes up.”
With the towering Myers – he stands at 6’8″ and weighs 227 pounds – locked into a seven-year contract worth $38.5 million and an annual cap hit of $5.5 million, the Sabres need him to rediscover his ’10 form.
To that end, the club brought back veteran presence Henrik Tallinder in a draft-day trade with the Devils.
The 34-year-old Swede was Myers’ defensive partner during his Calder Trophy-winning campaign and, while head coach Ron Rolston has yet to confirm the two would be playing together again, Myers is excited merely with Tallinder’s presence on the team.
“I was very, very excited,” Myers said of hearing Tallinder was headed back to Buffalo.