Tyler Myers' story is just beginning. He and the Buffalo Sabres hope it continues to be a compelling one.
The Sabres made an obvious answer official today, announcing that their rookie defenseman will stay with the NHL club past his nine-game tryout limit. They could have sent the 19-year-old back to junior hockey and saved a year of his contract, but in the process they would have weakened their blue line.
"He made it pretty easy," coach Lindy Ruff said. "He played real well for us."
Myers leads the Sabres' blue-liners in goals (two) and points (five), and he's third on the team with 20:20 of ice time per game. Sending him back to Kelowna of the Western Hockey League would have left an obvious hole in the lineup, so he will remain with the Sabres for the "foreseeable future," General Manager Darcy Regier said.
"He's like the other guys in that he really just needs to continue his work, continue a process of continuous improvement," Regier said. "That's what we're looking for. Lindy emphasized that the expectations are there'll be ups and downs, there'll be adversity, but we expect him to continue to improve not just this year but in the future."
Myers, who's been living in a local hotel, will seek more permanent residence. Aside from that and the excitement of becoming an NHL regular, it was just another day of practice for Myers in the Amherst Pepsi Center.
"Obviously, it feels good," Myers said. "It's exciting, but I obviously don't want to stop after 10 games. It's early in the season, and I want to keep improving every game, show that I can build as the schedule gets tougher.
"I don't want to get too comfortable. I still want to play at a high intensity. Sometimes if guys get a little comfortable, they slow down a bit, so I want to make sure I keep it going and try to limit those mistakes, just keep improving."