While the cost is going to be high, J.T. Miller is interested in sticking with the Vancouver Canucks following a 99-point season that would see him one of the big-ticket, highly-coveted free agents of this coming NHL offseason. Rick Dhaliwal tweeted that Miller’s agent Brian Bartlett said his client would be happy to stick with the Canucks and sign an extension this summer, even though he didn’t offer any sort of idea as to what that extension might cost.
If the asking price is north of $8 million per season, the Canucks will face challenges in trying to get things done. Miller has made re-signing with Vancouver one of his goals, but he’s also due a healthy raise and there will be a team out there willing to pay for his services. The problem for the Canucks is that it won’t be a simple choice to pony up and match any potential free-agent offer for a 29-year-old who had the best season of his NHL career and may never repeat it. If the Canucks are looking at a seven or eight-year extension, Miller will be 37 or 38 by the time that deal expires. It’s almost a guarantee he won’t be able to live up to his contract in the final years of any long-term extension.
How much more than the current $5.25 million per season is Miller worth to the Canucks. One would expect he’d be willing to sign at a slightly lower rate than he might if a team with all sorts of cap room came calling, but how much less?
What Are the Canucks Thinking About Miller?
Jim Rutherford recently talked about the thoughts that go into signing a player like Miller and said the Canucks will have to weigh how much someone like Miller can offer in the first three years of the deal versus the last three. He said, “You know at some point there’s going to be a decline in the player’s play, but does he give you that much more in the first three years that offsets the last three?” He said the Canucks would negotiate in good faith, but in a way that works for the Canucks. “If both sides can come to an agreement, then Miller will be here long-term. If the numbers get out of whack, then we have to make a nonemotional decision and make a tough decision that won’t be popular with anybody.”
If they can’t come to terms, Miller will be traded and the Canucks will try to acquire as many assets that will help the team long-term as possible.