It’s becoming old hat for Darcy Regier to stand up at a press conference and introduce yet another piece to the team’s long-term championship plans. That was the case again on Thursday at the First Niagara Center when the Sabres general manager, with owner Terry Pegula and team president Ted Black at his side, announced that defenseman Tyler Myers had signed a contract extension with the Buffalo Sabres that will keep him in the blue and gold through the 2019-20 season
“I am excited to announce that not only have we signed one of the best young defensemen in the National Hockey League -- but I would argue we signed one of the best defensemen in the National Hockey League -- to a seven-year extension. Which including this year, makes it eight years that the Buffalo fans, our community and our team will have the benefit of seeing one of the best players in the NHL.”
Myers (6’8”, 222 lbs., 2/1/90) will be entering his third season with the Sabres in 2011-12. He has appeared in 162 games for the Sabres, amassing 85 points (21+64) over two seasons. Last season, Myers led all Buffalo skaters in the playoffs with 23:52 TOI per game and was tied for a team-high five game-winning goals during the regular season.
“I am very grateful that Darcy and the Sabres initiated discussions one year early, and showed the confidence in making it a long term deal,” said the 21-year-old Myers. It’s what I wanted ever since I came in two years ago, I’ve wanted to be a Sabre for a long time. I’m very excited today to solidify a long term spot, and to be a part of this organization as it grows.”
Regier said that these contract negotiations barely took two weeks, and it was never his intention to enter into a lengthy process of talks with J.P. Barry, Myers’ agent.
“You want to avoid contentious negotiations, and create a relationship that is a win-win situation,” he explained. “We wanted to recognize Tyler for his abilities now, and in the future.”
As a rookie in 2009-10, Myers was awarded the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. In his freshman campaign, he ranked at or near the top in several rookie categories, including average ice time (1st, 23:44), shorthanded time (1st), assists (1st), blocked shots (1st, 137), plus-minus (T-2nd) and points (3rd).