Steve Simmons has a column over at the Toronto Sun regarding Chris Pronger and what he brings to a team when he joins, and the wreckage left in his wake when he leaves. GM Ken Holland of the Red Wings has this to say:
“He does things that other players can’t do, haven’t done, don’t know how to do. And he just does them easily,” said Ken Holland, general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, who admitted to being “pretty damn happy” when the Ducks traded Pronger to the Eastern Conference.
Kukla’s has a a bit more of Ken’s comments, which is where Lidstrom is reference:
If you wonder why we’ve worried about Lidstrom leaving, it’s because look what happens when Pronger leaves teams. They don’t recover. It’s pretty apparent what he does for teams and he’s even more appreciated when he’s not there because you come to appreciate all he does. Look at Edmonton. They had one great year. That wasn’t an accident. Look what’s happened to them since.
Indeed. Anyway, that brought me back to thinking of Tyler Myers. His meteoric rise to the top of the defensive depth charts is not completely unexpected for those that saw his final year of Juniors. That leaves us wondering just where his ceiling is. Here are the relevant stats for the two mentioned guys and Myers in their rookie seasons:
- Tyler Myers (Buffalo Sabres, 19yrs old) – 82GP, 11G 37A, +13, 32 PIM
- Chris Pronger (Hartford Whalers, 19yrs old) – 81GP, 5G 25A, -3, 113 PIM
- Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroid Red Wings, 21yrs old) – 80GP, 11G 49A, +36, 22 PIM
You can see that Myers (as of now) fits in right between the two. Pronger has a physical game right now that Myers can’t match, though his offseason goals to gain wait and strength would go a long way at putting him in that territory. As for the much smaller Lidstrom, the offensive numbers are in line, with the +/- as the main outlier, thanks to the better goal-scoring of the Red Wings that year, compared to Buffalo this year (+64 goal differential).
This second year is going to be huge for Myers. Possibly a different defense partner, higher expectations, and adjustments from the rest of the NHL. His offseason work will determine whether or not he becomes Chris Pronger/Zdeno Chara, or Andrej Sekera.