WINNIPEG - When hurricanes as big as Irma and Harvey hit land they have an effect on more than just the people in Florida and Texas.
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Tyler Myers is one of those people with his mother and half brother living in in the city of Houston.
"They're ok, they are clear of any damage but obviously shut down for awhile while the city cleans up a little bit," said Myers. "I've talked to them a little bit to see how things are going and getting some updates on what's going on. It sounds like there is a lot of support around the States and even in Canada to as well. I'm just hoping it clears up as soon as possible."
Myers went on to say they talk about the photos that we all see on the news and that he tries to provide as much support as he can from far away. But while it's tough knowing she is in a city that is just starting to rebuild he is relieved to know his family members are in a less damaged area of Houston.
"They're not experiencing damage to their personal things," explained Myers. "Tough to see it's affecting the entire city, growing up there but you've seen things like this happen and you see people bounce back real nice."
Fellow athlete, J.J. Watt's modest fundraiser has grown from his original goal of $200,000 to 32 million dollars for his Hurricane Harvey relief fund. Wednesday the Texans defensive end tweeted "On Friday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. CT, we will complete the fundraising portion of our efforts to dedicate our time to ensuring every dollar is put to work for the people in the devastated areas in and around Houston."
Myers admires what Watt has done for his hometown.
"Everyone knows even before this happened how big of an influence within the city, not only in that city around the country," said Myers. "The fact that he is doing as much as he is just showing that he's a real stand up guy and he cares for the city that he plays for."
Now Myers hopes to focus on the task at hand which is Jets training camp and putting last year's injury and personal issues behind him to help this team get to the playoffs.
"I'm very excited to come back even skating with the guys before camp starts was pretty exciting for me," said Myers. "Didn't get much time in last year, moving forward and looking up so I'm excited to get things going."
Fellow d-man Josh Morrisey, who has only been a teammate of Myers' for one season understands what a positive impact it will be having No. 57 out on the ice.
"First of all you are just super happy to see Mysey around he's an awesome guy," said Morrisey. "I kind of knew him before the Jets organization with me playing in Kelowna and meeting him there. He had a very tough year on a number of levels and you're just very excited to see him back healthy and all those things are just off the ice. Seeing him on the ice and the player he is, the way he can make our team that much better, its exciting to have him back."
Myers and the Jets quest for the postseason is a large task thanks to being in the Central Division, where the 2017 Western Conference champion Nashville Predators plus the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild stand in their way.
"If we come together and we execute the way we need to, we know we have the guys we need to put the wins up no matter who we are playing against," said Myers. "It's a close league, its the best league in the world and you have to come ready to play every night if you want to succeed."
-- Jamie Thomas, WinnipegJets.com