Buffalo Sabres

Jets lose in Myers’ debut, Weber shot leaves him limping

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Tyler Myers made his debut for the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, and it … could have gone better.

For one thing, the Nashville Predators beat his new team 3-1 tonight. Even worse, Nashville’s own really large, hard-shooting defenseman Shea Weber sent a shot that connected with Myers’ knee, leaving him in obvious pain late in the third period.

On the bright side, it might not be the absolute worst-case scenario. Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper sheds a little light on his situation right after the contest:

So, maybe a bullet was dodged, although Myers would probably say that Weber’s shot didn’t feel a lot better.

While there were flashes of brilliance – or at least Winnipeg taking advantage of Myers’ powerful shot on a team that already boasts Dustin Byfuglien’s bomb – it had to be a bit of an empty feeling tonight.

The Jets are probably just hoping they only lost the game and not their shiny new defenseman, though.

(Even if they were considering shopping him anyway.)

Myers paired with Enstrom as Jets visit Preds

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Tonight in Nashville, Tyler Myers is expected to begin his Winnipeg Jets career on a defensive pairing with veteran puck-mover Tobias Enstrom.

Myers, traded yesterday from Buffalo, is unlikely to log the 25 or so minutes he typically did with the Sabres. That won’t be necessary with two other capable pairings in Winnipeg, Dustin Byfuglien with Ben Chiarot and Mark Stuart with Jacob Trouba.

In Buffalo, Myers skated mostly with Josh Gorges. Not only did those two play big minutes and face the toughest competition on a nightly basis, over 40 percent of the faceoffs they were on the ice for took place in the defensive zone.

That’s no formula for good offensive numbers, and Myers was proof, with just four goals and nine assists in 47 games.

Not that he hasn’t struggled in recent seasons; Myers is no pure victim of circumstance. But Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff believes the 25-year-old’s career can be rejuvenated if provided a better chance to succeed, in a role that’s not beyond his capabilities.

“Tyler’s got a tremendous foundation,” said Cheveldayoff. “He’s big. He can shoot. He’s going to have an opportunity to play with a deeper defense corps. He can log a lot of minutes.

“Sometimes, in this game, fresh starts are really welcome for players that have lots of expectations heaped on them, and lots of hype as young players. Because it is a hard game to play as a young player and even harder as a young defenseman.”

As for winger Drew Stafford, the other roster player the Jets picked up in the Evander Kane trade, he’ll start on a line with Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault, two talented forwards enjoying fine seasons.

Ducks ‘pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,’ says Ducks d-man

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We’ve talked plenty about Anaheim’s desire to add a defenseman — see here and here and here — and now, following a stretch in which the Ducks have surrendered 30 goals in seven games, it seems those talks have trickled down to the players.

Like defenseman Cam Fowler, for example.

“[GM Bob Murray] has been pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,” Fowler told the L.A. (which stands for Los Angeles) Times this week. “We feel comfortable with the group we have, but if there’s somebody who can be brought in to help us, that’s always good too.”

Murray’s been in search of defensive fixes for a while now, and has done some previous patchwork: Eric Brewer was acquired from Tampa Bay in November, and Stephane Robidas was acquired at last year’s deadline.

That said, both of those deals were of the low-risk, low-cost variety. Robidas, 37, came on board for the price of a fourth-round pick and played just 17 games (14 regular season, three playoff) before leaving in free agency. Brewer, 35, could end up much the same; he’s a UFA at season’s end and has only appeared in six games after breaking his foot shortly after being acquired.

But neither Robidas nor Brewer moved the needle much. One would think Murray wants to make a bigger splash this time around.

Whether or not he can make one, though, remains to be seen. Tyler Myers is off the board following Wednesday’s blockbuster move to Winnipeg and, as we’ve often seen come deadline day, there are more teams interested in capable defensemen than there are capable defensemen.

The Ducks could be in on Marc Methot. They could be in on Cody Franson. They could be in on Mike Green — assuming the playoff-bound Caps decide to move him — but Anaheim won’t be alone in any of these pursuits. Which begs two questions: 1) How much does Murray believe in a blueline featuring a top-four of Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen? And 2) If he doesn’t believe in it enough, how much is he willing to spend on a legitimate upgrade?

Video: McKenzie breaks down Wednesday’s deal between the Jets and Sabres

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Hockey insider Bob McKenzie breaks down Wednesday’s blockbuster deal between the Sabres and Jets, which saw Evander Kane go from Winnipeg to Buffalo in a multi-player trade.

McKenzie breaks down why the Jets won the trade while assessing the risk Buffalo general manager Tim Murray acquired in Kane.

Related: Sabres’ Kane: ‘I’m definitely glad to be moving on’

Sabres’ Kane: ‘I’m definitely glad to be moving on’

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Its been a crazy eight days for the newest member of the Buffalo Sabres.

It all began on Feb. 3 when Evander Kane was a healthy scratch as the Winnipeg Jets visited the Vancouver Canucks. It concluded Wednesday afternoon when the 23-year-old was dealt to Buffalo in a multi-player trade.

Speaking to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Kane says he’s looking forward to moving on.

“There’s definitely a lot more to it than some of the funny story lines that came out,” said Kane. “Sometimes you have to just let a story die and I guess that’s what we’ll do. But it was definitely disappointing with how everything shook out and some of the information was misconstrued, misleading, some of the facts kind of came out wrong or didn’t come out at all. That’s to be expected.

“But I’m definitely glad to be moving on and I’m going to have a fresh start with a new team. I’m looking forward to the future for sure.”

One of the things that rubbed Kane the wrong way is the notion he elected to have surgery on his shoulder when he could’ve waited until the season was over.

“I had it [shoulder injury] last year and it got worse over the last two months,” Kane said. “And actually, when they went in there to do the surgery, they found a hole in my shoulder as well and some other things they had to fix. It was a little more complicated than everyone thought at first, so it’s really good we got it fixed now.

“That some people thought I was having surgery just to end my season, that’s so not true. That’s the biggest thing I want to make clear.”

Kane said the pain reached a point last week where could no longer play through it.

“It’s just common sense that I would have wanted to play in my hometown in front of friends and family where I know everyone has tickets to the game,” said Kane, who played through a fracture ankle and a fractured hand this season. “Of course I would have wanted to. But unfortunately, it comes to a point where you just can’t do it anymore because of the things I was going through. I couldn’t do what I needed to do out there. It (his shoulder) would come out twice in a period, once a period, sometimes it wouldn’t come out. It was tough to judge and get a feel for it.”

In the second game following the All-Star Break, a loss in Philadelphia on Jan. 29, Kane’s shoulder problems worsened.

“It came out twice in the third period and it just became harder and harder to continue. It was getting worse. I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where it would become possibly career-threatening or maybe not be able to recover fully.”

As for the tracksuit incident with teammate Dustin Byfuglien, Kane said he had no real issue with it.

“I’m actually one of the guys that doesn’t mind that kind of stuff, to be honest,” he said. “That’s kind of a funny part for me hearing all this. I’m a pretty tough guy mentally and physically. I think if people thought it was just about that, that’s fine. That gives me a pretty good laugh.”

Kane spent six seasons with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise scoring 109 goals and 222 points in 361 games.

He’s excited for the fresh start Buffalo presents.

“Once I talked to [Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray] and talked to my agent [Craig Oster of Newport Sports], there’s a lot of excitement for the future in Buffalo,” said Kane. “Just looking at next year, they’re going to get a top pick and that’s exciting. Just to have one of those two guys maybe to play with next year, plus the other young players on that team.

“The sense I got from Buffalo is that, yes they’re rebuilding but they’re not going to sit around and wait. They’re looking to do something now. It’s nice to go somewhere where you feel wanted and you feel that they want to put you in a situation to have success.”