If Tyler Myers ever wants to become the next Zdeno Chara, he may want to note what’s being said the day after the Bruins’ leviathan captain logged a remarkable 38:02 of ice time last night against the Rangers.
“He maybe plugs himself in at night,” rookie Boston d-man Dougie Hamilton said of Chara. “It’s pretty incredible.”
“For him, the way he’s conditioned and the way he prepares and takes care of himself, he’s learned to be able to deal with those minutes,” forward Gregory Campbell added.
We only mention Myers because he’s the topic of an article on the Olean Times Herald website today.
In the article, Sabres coach Ron Rolston discusses his hopes for Buffalo’s young blue-liner.
As any Sabres observer can tell you, the 6-foot-8 23-year-old has struggled with his game since being named rookie of the year in 2009-10.
“I think he understands where he needs to go and the growth he needs to have here, especially in the summer to get himself prepared for being an elite defenseman and one of the best defensemen in this league, which he’s been before, we know he can be next year,” Rolston said.
“But a lot of that’s going to come in the preparation and his growth over the summer, just to continue to obviously, one, work on his body, and then, two, just make sure he’s just simplifying things and playing within himself. And when that happens, he’s going to be a dominant player for us next year.”
Myers has admitted his conditioning and diet need improvement.
“I’ll be the first to admit I definitely need to turn things around, get back to that path of improving, working on the things have made me successful. It’s just a matter of working that much harder this offseason,” he said.
Perhaps Myers can take solace in the fact Chara, 36, didn’t develop into an elite d-man overnight.
But as former Ottawa teammate Marian Hossa recalled back in 2009, Chara was willing to put in the work.
“No one worked harder than Z,” said Hossa. “He would run up steps in buildings, lift weights, mountain bike — all to build up strength. But his footwork got better and better with all of the lateral stops and starts, quick-twitch exercises he did.”
Myers is just one year into a seven-year, $38 million contract. If the Sabres are going to get back into the playoffs, they’ll need him to be the cornerstone defenseman they expected him to be when they gave him the big money.