April 28, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward JT Miller (9) beat the Los Angeles Kings in the second half at Rogers Arena. Mandatory credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Round one of the NHL Draft takes place Thursday night in Montreal with the New York Rangers picking up nothing but plenty of intrigue. That’s because they need to fill a second midfield position for next season and they look like the first to catch GT Miller on a deal.
Wednesday’s reports indicated Miller’s agent and Canucks weren’t optimistic that they would come to terms on a new deal. This fueled rumors of what the future holds for the 29-year-old, who scored 99 points in 80 games last season.
New York Rangers focus on JT Miller
Elliot Friedman was recently on the Donnie & Dhali Show talking about where things are with JT Miller.
“I think they moved it at some point. We’ll see where that happens in the next 24 to 48 hours. It’s in Vancouver courthouse.” I think the two teams we’re looking at are Washington and Rangers. I also suppose there’s more we don’t see.”
Miller, 29, was the Canucks’ top scorer last season. He has one year left on his current deal which comes at an affordable $5.25 million. Although they would like to keep him, Vancouver will not be able to accommodate his next contract which is expected to be between 5-7 years and AAV is around $8.5 million.
Fourth period David Bagnotta I reported late yesterday that Vancouver has a six-year bid on the table. One of the team executives told me he expects Miller to take his chances and test unrestricted free agency next summer.
This might make some teams hesitant, but it looks like Rangers may be willing to part with a fair package for his services this next season. The latest grumbling seems to have brought them the closest team to taking Miller. The package is unclear, but at the trade deadline at least three pieces were reported.
Chris Drury has refrained from it and will likely do so again if it remains unchanged. But there were some indications that Vancouver might be willing to be more negotiable this time around. Several insiders have pointed out what the Kings gave up to acquire Kevin Fiala from Wild, which was a first-round pick and a possibility.
If the Canucks were a lot friendlier to something similar, the Rangers could easily offer their 2023 first-round pick, Nils Lundkvist, and perhaps another mid-level prospect to seal a deal. Two other names linked in a potential business deal for Miller are Philip Chettle and Capo Kaku, but I find it difficult for Drury to be willing to part with either of them for a player who will likely only be here for one season.
The guards are tied with a hood for the next two seasons. They should extend several RFAs including Kakko this summer, then Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller and Filip Chytil next year. That is why they are looking for short term solutions to the second line position.
New York is also exploring other options, but the Jets Pierre-Luc Dubois price is too high both contractually and in players. The most perfect target was Mark Scheifele but now he looks off the table.
What should be noted is that the Vancouver Canucks do not have to trade Miller this summer. He has one year left on his deal and his value must remain the same at the next NHL trade deadline.