Miller: Canucks’ potential made signing extension ‘a very easy decision’

Posted: 03/09/2022 in NHL
Tags: , , , , , ,

J.T. Miller could have tested the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer, but the Vancouver Canucks forward seems confident in his decision to sign a seven-year extension through the 2029-30 season earlier this week.

“It’s a very easy decision for me to want to stay there, especially from a hockey standpoint. … I think we’re just scratching the surface with our potential, and it’s one of the main reasons (why) I want to be there,” Miller said after inking his new deal.

“It’s a really exciting place, and I think our expectations are to win a Stanley Cup there. … And I think with more time and getting to know the guys more, some familiar faces, and the talent we have, I don’t see why it’s not possible.”

Miller stayed firmly in the rumor mill throughout the 2021-22 season, but all the outside noise didn’t hamper his performance on the ice. The Ohio native paced the Canucks with a career-high 99 points in 80 games.

He also emphasized the impact of head coach Bruce Boudreau, who’s about to enter his first full season behind the Canucks’ bench.

“We started to have a lot of fun winning hockey games, especially when Bruce got there,” Miller said. “I think we realized what our capabilities are as a team, and I still think we have another level, which is awesome.”

Before Boudreau’s arrival on Dec. 5, the Canucks were well out of the playoff race after starting the season with an 8-15-2 record under Travis Green. Vancouver improved exponentially under Boudreau and finished the season with a record of 40-30-12, sitting just five points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Like most players on the Canucks’ roster, Miller only got more productive once Boudreau took over behind the bench:

TENUREGPGPP/GP
Miller under Green258230.92
Miller under Boudreau5524761.38

Miller’s new $56-million pact doesn’t kick in until the 2023-24 campaign, so he’ll only carry a cap hit of $5.25 million this season.

Though Miller’s future is now sorted, Vancouver still has to grapple with captain Bo Horvat, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

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