NHL Rumors: Canucks pulling back J.T. Miller, and Habs not rushing to trade Petry
As we inch closer to the NHL Trade Deadline, the trade rumor mill will churn so fast it will make your head spin.
From now until that March 21 date passes, players names will go from available to unavailable, and from good as gone to locked up to an extension. They call it the “silly season” in hockey for a good reason.
Such is the latest case involving one of the hottest names on the market, Canucks forward J.T. Miller.
NHL Rumors: Canucks not decided on trading Miller
“I checked with a couple NHL front offices over the past few days who feel that when they talk to Vancouver lately, it feels like J.T. Miller has been reeled back in by the Canucks,” Pierre LeBrun stated on Insider Trading. “Now, we’re a month away from the trade deadline, so perhaps a bit of cat and mouse, but I think the message is clear from the Vancouver Canucks to other teams, they don’t feel they have to trade J.T. Miller. He’s got a year-and-a-half left on his deal and this notion that J.T. Miller’s worth is higher now than it would be this summer, the Canucks’ front office does not believe that.”
Last night, Miller once again was a key player in a Canucks win by scoring in OT to defeat the Sharks 5-4. That was his 18th goal of the season to go with his 50 total points in 48 contests.
It’s also a big reason why Vancouver is hesitant to move the 28 year-old forward. Plus, he still has one year remaining on his deal that comes at a great cap hit of $5.25M.
“They feel they can get as much for him in the summer as they can now and by the way, maybe they’ll just sign him this summer, so all options are on the table,” LeBrun continued. “Translation is this, if you’re the New York Rangers, or any other team, you have got to step up in a meaningful way to get the Canucks’ attention on J.T. Miller, or else they’re happy to keep him.”
The jury is out on what the Canucks will do here, but if Miller is still scoring at this pace they’ll probably keep him. Vancouver is just three points out of the last wild card spot in the West. Should they stay close, or hold a spot by the deadline I believe Miller stays.
Habs likely to keep Jeff Petry
Petry, 34, is struggling this season, but most of the Habs to be fair. With just 9 points in 42 games, he’s looking at his worst year since 2014-15.
Last season, despite only a 56 game schedule, Petry posted his highest points per game average of his entire career at .76.
Petry has an AAV of $6.25 million for three more seasons, which is great if he’s producing. No one really wants to pay a defenseman that may be in decline that much until he’s 37. That’s why Hughes doesn’t expect a deal any time soon.
“Jeff Petry, if we can find a trade that works for us and another team, we’re going to do it,” Hughes said Wednesday. “But it has to work.”
It’s unlikely that he will be dealt next month, but come the NHL Draft, many teams that get knocked out of the playoffs may view him a fit.