News broke this morning that Tyler Myers will miss up to six weeks due to surgery on his injured wrist. T.J. Brennan was recalled from Rochester to fill the void left by the injury.
Brennan was with the team in Carolina last Friday as a safety valve in the event that an injury or illness struck down a defensive corps that was already short Mike Weber. While there was no intent to play Brennan upon his last call-up, he will most certainly see time this week as the Myers injury left Buffalo with only five healthy defensemen.
While Myers hasn’t been a tower of power early this year, he had been trending back to an effective member of the blueline with three good outings after being a scratch against Montreal last Monday. While he hasn’t made major contributions to the team, Myers’ injury leaves a hole in the top half of a shaky set of defensemen. Inserting Brennan simply bumps the lower three up a peg. Marc-Andre Gragnani becomes number five, Christian Ehrhoff number four and so on.
Brennan will see limited minutes skating beside Gragnani and will just need to operate on the K.I.S.S. methodology. Having the chance to make his NHL debut will be a big deal for the former second-round pick. This is certainly an opportunity to showcase his talents to the organization and prove that he is worthy of a permanent promotion in the near future.
However, Brennan may not be staring at the biggest opportunity. Ehrhoff may just be the defenseman with the most to gain from the injury to Myers. Ehrhoff’s lack of responsibility in the defensive zone through the first 20 games has been lackluster, to say the least. He has loafed through many games and certainly isn’t living up to the big contract he signed in the offseason. He has put forth a much better effort in recent games and is hopefully finding his comfort zone in Buffalo. Regardless, the increased ice time he is likely to see in Myers’ absence will give him the chance to show he is worth the giant contract he signed in the offseason. A big effort from Ehrhoff would certainly lessen the blow dealt by the loss of Myers.