Sportsnet 650: Jason Brough and Mike Halford on forward J.T. Miller‘s future with the Vancouver Canucks.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
Brough: “You got to get clarity on this. For our sake. For the fans’ sake but also mostly for J.T. Miller sake and the Canucks sake and the market’s sake. This has been how many years of J.T. Miller trade rumors? How many years of J.T. Miller trade talk?”
Halford: “Feels like five.”
Brough: “Yeah, feels like five. It feels like ever since he go here there’s been talk about him leaving. When he signed that contract extension, it went away for a little bit, obviously, but man it didn’t take long to come back.
Because I think what happened was the Canucks had that terrible start to the season and then everyone was like, wait a minute, maybe they need to just completely rethink what they’ve done here, committing to this core.
Now since then, they’ve traded away the captain in Bo Horvat. So, that leaves them with two top-six centers. But, we were already heading into an offseason with the Canucks expected to after a 3C. That’s the thing with trading J.T. Miller. Even if you think he’s a better winger, there isn’t a better 2C on the team than J.T. Miller, even if you think he’s a better winger.
So if they go into next season expecting to make the playoffs, and if they also want to trade J.T. Miller, where does that leave them?
Halford: “I got to wonder if this Miller trade is something you can revisit like we’ve seen countless times. Like for example, Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Vancouver. That was a trade that bubbled and percolated to the surface and then died down and then low and behold a year later the Coyotes and Canucks revisited it and were able to consummate a deal.
If it’s all contingent on Pittsburgh then it’s going to be really fascinating to watch cause Pittsburgh right now, I feel they might be at not necessarily a crisis point, but this could go one of two ways. They either make the playoffs, and it also doesn’t matter because the playoff streak is what’s important here when you’re talking about (Sidney) Crosby, (Kris) Letang, (Evgeni) Malkin, you’ve got the band back together. They keep getting kicks at the can in the post season.
If they don’t and remember they are only one point up on Florida and both teams have five games left (heading into Tuesday night), so it’s still all up for grabs in the East.
Brough: “The Penguins for me though made so much sense for J.T. Miller. Again, this all goes back to timing. Do we think J.T. Miller’s a bad hockey player? No, but we just don’t think the Canucks are in their window right now and we worry when the Canucks are ready to be in their window in a couple years time hopefully, then J.T. Miller will be starting to decline and that contract will look worse and worse.
Is that necessarily what will happen? Nobody has a crystal ball but we do have these things called aging curves we can look at and we can see that J.T. Miller, statistically speaking, probability speaking, is probably going to decline.
Now, why would he make sense for Pittsburgh? Cause they’re going to decline. Right? It’s gonna happen. It will take a miracle for the Pittsburgh Penguins not to go through some sort of massive rebuild where they lose a lot of games because when they lose Sid, Geno and Letang, they’re going to be in trouble, right? They’re just not going to be a very good team and it happens. They had a good run. Made the playoffs forever. And eventually, that will fall apart.
So that’s why it made sense for J.T. Miller to go there and if not the Penguins, and the Canucks are as Frank (Seravalli) reported, and the Canucks do still favor trading J.T. Miller, then you got to find another team that makes sense, because Pittsburgh made perfect sense.”
** NHLRumors.com transcription