Trade speculation involving Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers ran rampant this summer, especially around the time of the NHL Draft and specifically involving the Detroit Red Wings.
Ultimately, no deal did came to fruition - probably because of the rather heavy asking price - and while the 24-year-old wasn't shocked by the rumblings, he's just as happy to remain in Buffalo, at least for the time being.
“(The Sabres) wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't listen to what other teams had to say,” Myers told the Buffalo News. “That comes with the game.
“My focus throughout the entire summer was to get better for the Buffalo Sabres,” Myers continued. “If a moment ever comes that I hear confirmation I’m not a Buffalo Sabre, then the mindset will change. But as of right now, I’m a Sabre and I want to be a Sabre. I’m really looking forward to starting this year, especially with the group of guys we have.”
Myers burst onto the scene back in 2009, scoring 11 goals and adding 37 assists en route to a Calder Trophy win as the NHL's top rookie that season. Myers failed to reach that benchmark in three seasons since, and his production fell to nine goals, 13 assists and a minus-26 rating in 62 games last season.
Myers will be relied upon heavily this season, however, especially with the departure of Christian Ehrhoff. As such, he's aware that improvement is necessary, but he stops short of setting specific production targets for the upcoming season.
“I’m not a big believer in setting specific numbers in goals,” Myers said. “The past year and a half, I’ve had lot more success focusing on the little things that will eventually get me there. If you look in the future, it’ll be a lot harder to hit that, but if you focus on what’s happening right now, it’ll lead you to it."
Myers believes the rebuilding and last-place Sabres can and will contend for a playoff spot as early as this season. If they have any shot at that goal, he will need to revert back to his promising rookie form, and then some.