Nichols’ Notes

Nichols’ Notes: Sabres Not Trading Myers Unless Haul is Huge

Nichols’ Notes: Sabres Not Trading Myers Unless Haul is Huge
Chris Nichols

Will the Buffalo Sabres trade Tyler Myers? Probably not, unless GM Tim Murray comes away with a huge haul.

Ask head coach Ted Nolan, and he’s voting to keep the gargantuan defenseman on the Sabres’ roster.

“He’s one of the bright spots on this team,” Nolan said on Tuesday. “When you go through a rebuilding and restocking of the organization, some of the pieces you keep and you surround them. Tyler Myers is one of those guys you build your team around.

“Very rarely do you see a 6-foot-8 guy who can skate like a 5-foot-8 guy. He’s been tremendous for us all season long.”

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Nolan, incidentally, had some fairly high praise for Chris Stewart.

Stewart had spent some time in Nolan’s dog house earlier in the season, but has been playing well of late.

“I think he’s one of the more premier power forwards in the League. And it took him a little while to get his game going, but right now, he seems to be going pretty well,” Nolan said. “He’s banging some bodies, he’s skating well. He’s finishing his checks and making some plays so that’s great for us and good for him.”

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Curtis Lazar shared his first-hand impressions on Connor McDavid:

“I’ve played with some good ones in MacKinnon and Ekblad and they all have something special … McDavid is smooth out there and the stuff he does with the puck is incredible,” said Lazar. “When he gets the puck, he accelerates. Some people get the puck, they slow down, and they make a play. It’s so fast.

“He’s a passer, everything he has, he’s tall and he’s going to fill out, but he’s slippery and it’s pretty tough to hit him out there.”

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Darryl Sutter was asked about the Kings’ supposed desperation level entering Tuesday night.

“You’ve got to be careful in pro sports. Desperation is usually when guys slit their own throats. We would prefer not to do that,” Sutter said. “I’ve never been associated with a team that does that. … We’re not saving a country or saving a life. We’re playing a game. I don’t know what desperation has to do with a hockey game.”

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Alain Vigneault has made it clear to Rangers’ brass that he’d like Mats Zuccarello re-signed.

“I think he’s a young man that has got a lot of upside, and I do believe he can play much better than he has so far this year,” Vigneault said. “He can contribute at a more regular pace, but I do see him as part of our future.

“At the end of the day, this is a business. If he wants to stay and we want him here, there is going to need to be common ground. That’s where that’s at right now.”

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The latest on contract extension talks between the Ottawa Senators and Marc Methot’s agent Mike Liut, as of Tuesday, is…

“Mike came to town and we did have a talk,” Murray said. “They’re obviously not [in] a big hurry, they’re in the drivers’ seat for the most part. At some point we’ll talk again here in the near future.”

Liut offered this: “We understand where everybody’s position is, it’s going to be up to us to get something concrete back to them in the next couple of weeks.”

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Mike Babcock and Ken Holland met on Monday to discuss the upcoming trade deadline, with the coach giving the GM his input on potential needs.

Time for Holland to see what he can do.

“My job for the next month is talk on the phone with the 29 other managers,” Holland said.

He added: “Are we going to be aggressive? My history has been, we’ll trade. If there’s a deal there we think fits with what we’re trying to do, we’ll do it.”

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Ahead of facing his hometown St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, Ben Bishop reflected on having been traded from there to Ottawa a few years ago, and then onto to Tampa Bay. Where he blossomed. And then some.

“There’s no grudges,” Bishop said. “But it’s definitely something you don’t forget.”

Also: “It’s something you think about, maybe what could have been,” Bishop said. “But I’m obviously very happy now in Tampa. I don’t think about it too much, pretty satisfied with the situation I’m in right now.”

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You have to feel happy for Cory Schneider, right? He wanted to start. And boy, has he started. Tuesday night was slated to be his 44th start of the season, which bests his prior career high of 43.

So how does it feel?

“Awesome,” said Schneider. “This is an opportunity I’ve been working for my whole career. It’s taken me a little while to get here, but I’m just happy to be given this chance this year to really run with it. I’ve actually felt a lot better as I’ve played more and I  feel good right now, so I can’t see why I can’t play another 20-25 games here down the stretch.”

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Johnny Oduya knows the cap crunch means the likelihood he’ll be with the Chicago Blackhawks next season is slim.

So it’s carpe diem time.

“Everybody knows the reality of the NHL, where every year is different,” Oduya said. “And any time you have a good team and you have a chance to do something, that’s an opportunity you don’t want to let slip. I think that goes for everybody on our team, really. It’s not any different for me. Like anything in life, you’ve got to have a lot of fun and seize the moment and use the time you have, and not really think about what’s been done before or what’s further down the road. You have to think about what’s happening now.”

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Former Avalanche GM Francois Giguere is now a certified financial advisor.

He’s also one of the advisors recommended by agent Kurt Overhardt to his own clients.

“The average career in the NHL is 5½ years,” Overhardt said. “Without proper planning, it is very easy for a player to end his career with no nest egg. A professional and credible financial planner like Francois Giguere — especially with his vast NHL experience — will educate his client on all matters including saving, investment, taxes and insurance. These guys have to grow up fast in every aspect of their life, and the business side is no different.”

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Steve Mason, on the arduous journey to become a consistent No. 1 goaltender in the NHL:

“I feel extremely confident in my game now to go out there on a consistent basis,” he said. “I’m at the point now, even last year, where I was ready for a No. 1 job.

“Earlier in my career, I wasn’t ready for it. It took me several years to understand what it takes to be a No. 1 guy in the NHL. It’s nice to finally be there.”

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Nichols’ Notes
Chris Nichols

Chris has written about both hockey and fantasy hockey for a number of media outlets over the last 14 years, including a combined decade with Sportsnet.ca and ESPN.com. He launched NicholsOnHockey.com in February of 2014. An aversion to wearing socks sparked a move from his hometown of Edmonton to San Diego, California in the mid-’90s, and the Oilers have not won a Cup in his absence.

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