Winnipeg Jets fans, rejoice: as per the good folks over at CapFriendly, Tyler Myers does not have a no-move clause.
@GarretHohl Yes we can confirm Myers NMC was not honored post trade.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 10, 2016
If the language used by CapFriendly seems curious, it's borne of trade and CBA-related uncertainty. When Tyler Myers signed his seven-year extension with the Buffalo Sabres, it included a no-move clause set to kick in come 2016-17. As it turns out, these clauses do not automatically bind a club if the player is traded prior to its coming into force. Rather, the acquiring team may choose to honour the clause or not.
In the wake of Myers' trade to Winnipeg, the course of action taken by Jets management remained unknown. Honouring the clause would have amounted to a nice but unneeded gesture made in good faith. Considering TNSE's reputation for loyalty, choosing to retain Myers' NMC seemed the kind of move this organization would make. Instead, if CapFriendly's confirmation is correct, it seems pragmatism won the day.
Kevin Cheveldayoff now gets to reap the flexibility he sowed. Had Myers' NMC remained on the books, the Winnipeg Jets would have been obligated to protect him, Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom1 in a 2017 expansion draft. Barring a trade or other unforeseen circumstances, this would have resulted in one of two scenarios2:
- Sticking to the 3D, 7F + 1 GK model, Myers, Enstrom and Buff are automatically Winnipeg's three defencemen, resulting in an unprotected Jacob Trouba
- Winnipeg opts for Option 2, the 8 skaters + 1 goalie model, protecting all four of the aforementioned defencemen but potentially exposing three additional forwards to what Option 1 entailed
A lack of NMC for Myers does not completely address Winnipeg's situation. Should they opt to include Trouba under the 3D, 7F + 1 GK model, Tyler Myers is now the one unprotected. If June 2017 does feature an expansion draft, it's very well possible that in the interest of retaining both d-men, Kevin Cheveldayoff & Co. might still prefer Option 2. And make no mistake, the combination of Myers' numbers and his contract do make him a valuable (if somewhat expendable) asset.
But while this doesn't solve Winnipeg's puzzle, it does lend management greater control over the decision-making process. Even if the end result is the same as it would have been, there's some comfort to be taken in its being a deliberately chosen option, rather than forced by obligation.
Are you relieved by Myers' apparent lack of a NMC? Should this change anything about how Jets management approaches a hypothetical 2017 expansion draft (and/or negotiations with Trouba)? And have the night terrors of losing Marko Dano begun to keep you up at night? Share your thoughts, ideas and expansion draft-related nightmares in the Comments section below, and as always, thanks for reading!
1Unless of course, Toby Enstrom agreed to waive his no-move clause, something the NHL will apparently allow players to do.
2For simplicity's sake, this article has not considered
how teams must expose "at least 25 per cent of the previous season’s salary cap", nor the newly reported "experience criteria" and other speculated details. Worthy of discussion all, but headaches for another time.