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Vancouver Canucks and JT Miller No Trade, No Sign Logic

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Vancouver Canucks, JT Miller, NHL
Vancouver Canucks centre JT Miller.

The recent report by TSN regarding JT Miller working towards signing with the Vancouver Canucks didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

First I’ll just refer back to VHN’s earlier logical conclusion that jives with the ongoing statements made by general manager Patrik Allvin. There is no rush to sign or trade this player. Why would there be? He has a season remaining on a super discounted deal and there’s a chance to see how he performs coming off his career-best and team-best 99-point season.

So now let’s jump ahead to different scenarios. What if Miller decided to take a ‘home town discount’ based on the sentiments and belief that he loves the Vancouver Canucks, the city, the time here with his family. Let’s say he takes $8.250-million per season, a million or so less than some folks might be anticipating, but still almost a million more per season than Elias Pettersson gets in his short term deal and a million-and-a-half more than winger Brock Boeser.

Miller would be the highest paid Canucks player by a decent margin. Fine and dandy, happy days.

But the team still needs to pay for it, and that’s where the difficulty arises. Move Oliver Ekman-Larsson to get it done? First, he has a no-move clause, secondly, should he waive it in a certain situation, the new team would have to take on that fat contract. Retain salary in the deal? What’s the point in that, the idea is to move money.

Tyler Myers? Absolutely, but finding a taker would likely mean throwing in another prospect puzzle piece. Where do the Vancouver Canucks draw the line in that case. Myers’s $6-million hit would pretty much do the trick, accompanied by a couple of other easily doable manoeuvres, but they would definitely be coughing up something else valuable to get the deal done.

On top of it, the Canucks will have further gutted their blueline, particularly on the side of the ice they can ill-afford to gut.

And even if you get Miller to somehow sign that deal for just five or six years, you’re looking at tap-dancing around Bo Horvat’s potential new deal in the next twelve months, and then Pettersson coming back up for more cash in two seasons. Lose Horvat? Not necessarily a decision that needs to be made at this moment.

That scenario also involves Miller giving up the longer term contract and security that every unrestricted free agent (UFA) has earned and worked towards. At 29-years-of-age, this is his last crack at a long-term ‘fat one’ of seven or eight years.

Could Horvat and Miller turn into Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk (skedaddling from Calgary) if the Vancouver Canucks wait? I don’t think so, we’re not under the impression that either guy is anxious to get the heck out of here, unless of course it’s for a tidy ransom. And by the way, Gaudreau turns Miller’s age in three weeks, Tkachuk is three years younger than Horvat.

Allvin we understand has already skipped town on holiday. This doesn’t preclude him from talking or negotiating all manner of hockey business on the telephone of course, but the arrows presently don’t point toward a resolution. The only way the signature happens is if Miller is generous enough in his discount and the Vancouver Canucks are able to make a deal to cover him in advance.

Last we checked neither of things has happened yet and we’re not seeing either on the horizon.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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Appaulled

Everything Bartlett has said to date…there is a pathway if Vancouver values him, show me the money, etc…suggests no discount is in the cards or if there is, it will not be enough. This is a player who want a long expensive contract. The contract tat need to be done over the next couple years and the need for a RHD, I do not see Miller being resigned.

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