Vancouver Canucks: Why they need to stay away from Tyler Myers

Winnipeg Jets blueliner Tyler Myers keeps being linked to the Vancouver Canucks, but he is not the player GM Jim Benning should chase in free agency.

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning knows he has to rebuild a leaky defensive unit, and he’s got plenty of cap space to do it

Per CapFriendly, the Canucks will have approximately $26.085 million this offseason. But about half of it will be eaten up once he re-signs Brock Boeser, and presumably top blueliner and pending UFA Alexander Edler.

Assuming Benning gets those two deals done, he’ll still have room to add one or two more impact players. It’s highly unlikely he pursues a top free agent like Artemi Panarin or Erik Karlsson, but Benning will definitely look in the second and third tiers of top UFAs.

Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre listed Winnipeg Jets defenceman Tyler Myers as a possible free agent target for various reasons. Myers played for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets and plays on the right side, so he could be interested in coming back to British Columbia — and he would fill a void on Vancouver’s blue line.

But even though Myers would be a great addition to any team, he simply isn’t the player Benning should prioritize in free agency.

The 6-foot-8, 229-pound Myers has plenty of offensive upside, but the Canucks need more speed and more defensively-sound guys on the back end.

Myers owns a mere 48.8 career Corsi For percentage, and he has a whopping 526 career giveaways against just 284 takeaways. Sure, he blocks shots and dishes out a ton of hits (904 and 735 in his career, respectively), but the Canucks need to value more than a man with great size and toughness.

On top of that, Myers has never topped 48 points in a season — and he reached that feat back in his rookie 2009-10 season.

Over his five seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, Myers has scored no higher than 36 points in a season. To put that into perspective, Edler had 34 this season despite missing 26 games.

The other problem is that Myers simply won’t come cheap. After Karlsson, he’s arguably the top blueliner on the market. If Myers waits until Karlsson signs, his price tag will only sky rocket, and the Canucks would be looking at having to pay $5-plus million a season.

It’s too risky for a player that’s turning 30 years of age — especially considering how much his game has regressed over the years. If Benning is looking at adding blueliners in free agency, he should look at better defensive players like Braydon Coburn or Anton Stralman.

Myers simply doesn’t bring enough in his own end of the ice, and the cost is just going to be too much for Benning. That’s why the Canucks need to avoid overpaying him and instead look for cheaper and more reliable blueliners once free agency begins.