NHL: Rutherford wants to be patient with the J.T. Miller file

NHL: Rutherford wants to be patient with J.T. Miller file

UPGRADE DAY

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller, who scored a career-high 99 points last season, will become a free agent in 2023, but the team doesn't feel the need to trade him yet .

For the past month, rumors of transactions have been numerous around the 29-year-old athlete because of his contract which will end at the end of the next campaign. The American is having the best moments of his career and his salary of $5.25 million is significantly less than what he brings to the Canucks.

Speaking on the CHEK News network on Friday, Vancouver president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford sees two possible scenarios for the centreman's future.

“We can get along and keep a great player. It's always hard to do when a player is going to be free agent in a year and he's showing really good stats, so for sure the player's contract expectations compared [to the offer] of the team are different”, he first mentioned, his remarks being taken up by the website of the National Hockey League.

“If [signing him] doesn't work out, we need to get the best possible return for him. But I believe the impatience will be felt for J.T. Miller when we get closer to the trade deadline, and if we haven't agreed, we'll make sure we get some compensation,” continued Rutherford, who does not feels not yet affected by the state of emergency.

A decisive start to the season?

Everything could depend on the first half of the 2022 season -2023 Canucks. If they're in a position to make the playoffs, maybe they won't want to part ways with Miller right away. On the contrary, if things are less good, the British Columbia team could trade him to a team aspiring to the top honors at mid-season.

One thing is certain, Rutherford has not nothing to do with criticism or concerns about the former New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning's new contract.

“Why are they impatient? Our best forward is still in our lineup,” he said.

Since joining the Canucks three seasons ago, Miller leads the team with 74 goals, 143 assists (tied with Quinn Hughes) and 217 points.