In a conversation with the Vancouver media on Tuesday morning, Canucks centre JT Miller made his enthusiasm very clear.
“We’ve got a team that’s going to get better with time, we’re faster now, our depth up front especially, with the additions of (Ilya) Mikheyev and Curtis (Lazar), we’ve got nine or ten guys that can play literally anywhere in the line-up and it’s awesome, four really solid lines,” Miller said. “Obviously with our D-group from last year we defended really well with our group, so there’s a lot of reason to be excited. I certainly have high expectations for the group this year. We can continue off how we played when (Head Coach) Bruce (Boudreau) got here last year.”
Mikheyev came over from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and is coming off a career year while Lazar last played an aggressive brand of hockey with the Boston Bruins.
Coming off a career-best 99-point season, Miller signed a deal last week for seven years and a total of $56-million dollars that kicks in for the 2023-’24 season. He’ll make $5.25-million this coming season. It’s common knowledge he took at least some portion of a ‘hometown discount’ to stay and play in Vancouver.
“It’s a lot of money and I feel very fortunate to be in the spot I’m in,” Mlller said. “Honestly no, I probably didn’t scratch (for more), but at the same time I felt we were going for an offer that was fair on my end and the fact is I want to be in Vancouver, I love this group of guys, and I want to win in Vancouver … from a money standpoint it’s really not my job to evaluate if I left money on the table here and there, I’m happy we got a deal and we got it done.”
The Canucks active roster is under contract for the coming season with eight free agents pending for next summer including team captain Bo Horvat. Much of the attention will turn to his new contract and eventually the moves that will have to be made to fit the club’s new structure under the NHL salary cap. For now, Miller just wants get the on-ice work started.
Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin will be discussing Miller’s re-signing and other topics on Tuesday morning as well.