User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Sabres D Myers focused on rebuilding confidence

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Tyler Myers has come to the realization he still has plenty of room to grow.

Advertisement
Though, the Buffalo Sabres' 6-foot-8 defenseman isn't getting any taller, Myers said Friday he spent the offseason developing his mental approach to rebuild his confidence. That's something the 23-year-old felt was necessary after wilting under the distractions and weight of expectations of playing his first season under a $38.5 million, seven-year contract.

``It played a factor for sure,'' Myers said, referring to a deal that paid him a $10 million signing bonus. ``A lot of things went on last year that got in my head.''

It was a forgettable, lockout-shortened season for Myers, who too often looked lost at both ends of the ice. He finished with three goals and five assists and a minus-8 rating in 39 games before missing the final seven after breaking a bone in his leg.

``I'll be the first one to say, that's not me as a player. I have to be better,'' Myers said. ``You have a year like you did last year, you want to change things.''

He began the transformation by using what Myers called mental-training techniques to avoid familiar pitfalls of self-doubt that would linger after a bad game.

``It's an everyday process that's taking time,'' Myers said. ``But it's definitely the right direction.''

The next step is proving he's capable of achieving the potential Myers once showed in becoming the NHL's rookie of the year in 2010. That's when he led Sabres defensemen with 11 goals, 40 points and notched a team-high 23:44 of average ice time.

Confident as Myers is in getting off to a fresh start, he's not yet ready to make any promises after two days of training camp.

``We can stand here and talk about it all you want. But none of it matters unless you come to play Oct. 2,'' Myers said, referring to Buffalo's opener at Detroit. ``I think every guy comes in each year looking to prove themselves.''

The Sabres are counting on Myers to play a key role in the team's ongoing transformation.

Having missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, Buffalo is in the midst of a youth movement after purging much of its veteran core over that past 18 months. And it's a changeover that might not be done.

Goalie Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek's futures are uncertain with both entering the final year of their contracts.

The Sabres enter this season with a new coach in Ron Rolston, who took over after Lindy Ruff was fired in February. They're young at center, and entertaining the possibility of having rookie first-round draft pick, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, make the immediate jump to the NHL level.

Myers refuses to call this a rebuilding year, and has taken it upon himself to become a vocal leader.

``I've been here long enough that if something needs to be said, I'll say it,'' Myers said. ``But there's a lot of guys in this room right now that can do that as well. I think a big part of success is everyone in this room holding each other accountable.''

One knock against the Sabres has been a leadership vacuum that's been unfilled since the team lost co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere to free agency in July 2007. Buffalo has not won a playoff series since, while missing the postseason altogether four times.

Aside from addressing his mental approach, Myers dedicated much of the offseason to staying in shape. He spent seven weeks working out in Buffalo. And when he traveled home to Kelowna, British Columbia, Myers had one of the team's strength and conditioning coaches join him to oversee daily workouts.

Rolston is impressed with the commitment Myers showed.

``I think he had an unbelievable summer,'' Rolston said. ``He's gotten a lot stronger. He's in really good shape, both physically and I think mentally. I think he's going to play well.''

For Myers, it was an opportunity to lead by example, and acknowledge a desire to improve.

``You never want to be in denial,'' Myers said. ``That would just make even more you have to handle mentally. And I wouldn't be able to take one step in mental training if I didn't accept that.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Penguins' Crosby cleared to practice
Ovechkin back as Capitals open camp
Hurricanes begin Peters' 1st camp
Ducks' Palmieri out 2 weeks with sprain
Stars' Peverley working out but not back
Burke: 'Unacceptable' aggression
Panthers to turn page after last season
Sabres rebuild after record for losses
Devils open camp without Brodeur
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2196
Bruce Marshall + 1208
Joe Williams + 62
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1956
Bill Marzano + 603
   
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 900
Tony Stoffo + 553
Bill Marzano + 341
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Yesterday  
   
   
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2026
Joe Williams + 1559
Bill Marzano + 989
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest