One of the biggest names available in the NHL free agent market is goalie Ryan Miller. Essentially falling out of favor with the St. Louis Blues after a poor postseason showing, Miller now looks to find a new team, preferably out west.
Well, it appears at least one team is showing interest, and they’re about as west coast as it gets. Word is the Vancouver Canucks have reached out to Miller’s agent to gauge his client’s interest in playing with the team. For numerous reasons, Vancouver fans better hope this is about as far as the team goes in terms of dealing with Miller.
To be honest, I highly doubt Miller would be too excited about joining the Canucks. For one, he’s looking to contend for his first Stanley Cup. The Canucks, however, are trending more towards a rebuild. They’ve already made multiple management changes, and may be on the verge of dealing forward Ryan Kesler, too. It just doesn’t appear to be a situation Miller would be dying to join.
More importantly, though, is the fact that Miller would not exactly come cheaply for Vancouver. His last contract saw him receiving an annual cap hit of $6.25 million, and though his quality of play has declined lately, he will still likely demand a rich deal.
Though Vancouver currently doesn’t have a ton of experience in net, as Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom have played fewer games combined than Miller has, this doesn’t mean they need to make a huge splash by trying to sign the former Blue. Wasn’t it not too long ago that the Canucks were already trying to desperately shed a mammoth deal they unwisely gave a netminder? One who could have great regular seasons with a tendency to implode in the playoffs?
I’d be surprised if Vancouver wanted to go for another round of this, because that’s what they’d get with Miller. He performed well for St. Louis in the first few weeks after being traded, but was a big reason why they were sent home in the first round of the postseason. His save percentage of .897 in six games was a career playoff low.
More important to note is the fact that, quite simply, Vancouver has other concerns they need to address. The Canucks aren’t a team that becomes a Cup contender as soon as you add a quality goalie. They just finished up a season likely still giving fans nightmares, featuring a disastrous one-year stint with now-former coach John Tortorella, and have only won one playoff game since their Cup run in 2011. The team needs to make some significant changes, not just throw a ton of money at a goaltender and assume everything is fixed.
For all we know, talks between the Canucks and Miller ended as soon as they began. Miller may want to go somewhere where he can contend immediately, while Vancouver may have just been putting feelers out. That said, there are just way too many things going against both sides of this to warrant the idea of the Canucks making a push for Miller. He’s not nearly enough to turn around Vancouver’s fortunes, and for that alone the team should forget about him.