Could the Canucks actually sign JT Miller?  Comparative contract analysis and more

Could the Canucks actually sign JT Miller? Comparative contract analysis and more

When Canucks President Jim Rutherford is gone Donnie and Daly – The Team Towards the end of last month, he had a lot to say.

One of the main topics of discussion was the imminent decisions to be made on the contracts of Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and JT Miller. All of these players are on deals that expire within the next 12 months and the Canucks will need to determine if they go into the team’s future plans.

When asked about Miller’s re-sign, the most interesting of all potential extensions, Rutherford said the following.

“Yeah, that’s the point. We’ll see where that goes and then the decisions will be made at that time. Everyone thought he’d be traded on the trade deadline and he wasn’t and he kept going. He had a great year with the Canucks, a career year for himself, and stayed It has a lot of good hockey.”

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After scoring 99 points last season, Miller is an asset with a quality the Canucks haven’t had in a decade. After earning just $5.25 million a season during his time with the Canucks, he’s queued up for a huge raise. The Canucks and Miller camp both want to strike a deal, but can they find terms that will allow both sides to leave the table happy?

This will likely be Miller’s last chance to get that huge contract. He’ll want a guarantee on his many-year contract with a high AAV. When Miller’s camp reaches negotiations, they will almost certainly use similar players to fight their cause.

Let’s take a look at some of the players that can help us build and ultimately predict Miller’s next contract.

Mika Zibanijad, 8 years old, $8.5 million

One of the most cited comparisons to Miller is Mika Zibanijad, the Swedish striker who signed with Rangers in the final season for $68 million over eight years, resulting in a sales average of $8.5 million. The two strikers were born just a month apart which means that while Zebaninejad was younger during his free agency, there are a lot of similarities between the two situations.

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Zipanegad scored 50 points in 56 matches during the season prior to signing this contract. Miller had more production than this and would therefore look at $8.5 million as a baseline, especially considering that Rangers also handed a no-motion clause to the Swedish striker, something Canucks might be afraid to do after recent history with these kinds of clauses.

Logan Couture, 8, $8 million

Back in 2018, Logan Couture signed a $64 million/eight-year ($8 million for Africa) contract with San Jose Sharks. This deal was signed after Kotor just scored 34 goals and 61 points in 78 goals. Again, that production pales in comparison to Miller’s career season. Couture was 30 years old when this contract began, the same age Miller will be when he begins extending it.

Since then, Couture has fallen out of favor as a player and the Sharks are now stuck in that commitment. Last season, he scored only 23 goals and had 56 points in 77 games. He also has an important no-trade clause that allows him to block all but three teams he can go to. The Couture contract is a warning sign for the Canucks that there are quite a few players who can continue to improve in their late twenties and early thirties.

Thomas Hurtl, 8 years old, $8.1375 million

This is another contract that was signed by the sharks. Hertl’s extension has yet to begin, but starting this season he will be in the first year of a $65.7 million/eight-year ($8.1375 AAV) contract. Once again, Hertl was granted a no-motion clause that weakens as the contract continues. Hertl signed this contract in March of 2022, the season in which he scored 30 goals and has 64 points in 82 games.

Once again, Miller’s production knocked Hertel out of the water as he earned another 35 points despite playing two fewer games. Going to purely numbers, it seems very reasonable that Miller would demand at least $8.5 million with a no-motion term and condition of some sort.

For Canucks, any number over $8 million in a significant term is likely to require a very difficult decision. While Miller’s play this year was certainly worth more than that figure, the team’s shaky salary cap and the possibility of a sharp regression mean Canucks needs to think long and hard.

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Looking at the comparisons above, Miller Camp has every right to claim over $8 million. That means the Canucks will likely continue to move toward trading Miller to recoup some of their massive value, possibly once this summer’s NHL draft.

How Miller’s saga unfolds for the Canucks will play a huge role in the direction of the franchise. He disrupted this decision and Canucks could see the window of this kernel evaporating into thin air. However, if they get it right, this could turn out to be a deal fans view as a necessary sacrifice, the one that propelled the Canucks toward the Stanley Cup.

With all this in mind, we predict that if the Canucks can sign Miller, they will 6 years @ 8.5 million dollars.

Anything less than that would be considered an opponent, and we have no reason to hope to believe Miller would sign less than he’s worth on what will likely be the biggest contract of his career.

What do you think of the Miller contract for the Canucks family? Do you think it would be possible for the two parties to reach an agreement?

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2022-06-06 17:30:22

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