I'm just going to come out and say it; Tim Murray is the man! Its bordering on a man crush. I love everything he did surrounding the trade deadline. WGR morning radio show host and fellow Syracuse alum Jeremy White hit the nail on the head: "everything he did I would have done." I could not agree more. He moved most of his expiring contracts for future assets, both prospects and draft picks. He bolstered his American League team in Rochester for what will hopefully be a long run into the Calder Cup playoffs. He flipped a prospect on defense for some prospects up front. It did not seem to be too big of a spot for him at all. In short, he nailed it. Now Sabres fans are free to start believing again. rnrnAs impressed as I am by what he did, it was what he did not do that impressed me more. He held onto the franchise's most important player, Tyler Myers. I do not know how many calls Murray fielded or how serious the offers for him might have been, but keeping Myers is the right decision. The evidence against moving him is staggering. He's 6'8". He skates like the wind. He has an excellent, accurate shot. He is under contract long term at an extremely reasonable salary. He's starting to throw his weight around and become somewhat intimidating. And, maybe most importantly, he is young and has room to grow. Talk about Girgensons being the most important player in the franchise all you want, and I love the guy, but players like Myers do not come along often. A huge, fast, young two-way defensemen that can still get better. I know the argument against Myers; he endured a long slump after a stellar rookie season. There was talk of maturity issues which seemed to be validated when he showed up out of shape and not ready to play following last season's lockout. His start to this season was underwhelming. Slowly, his game started turning the corner. Why? Who knows. Does it matter? Ted Nolan is encouraging him to just play his game. Its working. People talk about the rebuild taking two or three years before the Sabres are ready to contend. That puts Myers in his late twenties, likely the prime of his career. The team has an abundance of good looking defensive prospects in the organization that will likely become a major strength when they are ready to content. They will need a leader. Tyler Myers very well may be that guy if everything falls into place. rnrnHas Myers turned the corner for good? I don't know for sure. The team, given the state they are in, stands to lose absolutely nothing by giving Myers more time to find out. If he can play to his potential, you are looking at a tremendous, difference making defensemen who will be considered untouchable. If he does not, some team will likely take a shot on him and overpay in a trade, thinking they can coax Myers' immense talent out of him. Time will tell. It would have been easy for Murray to ship Myers out under the pretense that he was a leftover project from the old regime that needed a fresh start. Rebuilding an NHL team from the bottom up, however, is not a process in which the easy way is typically successful. Murray made the right call on Myers. Ready for the draft? I know I am!
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