NHL Rumors: Habs making moves, J.T. Miller gave Canucks discount, and more

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The Montreal Canadiens announced the signing of Kirby Dach to a new four-year extension worth $13.45 million (AAV $3.362M) on Wednesday. What is else could be in store for the Habs in this edition of NHL Rumors?

Also, the Canucks coming to terms with J.T. Miller was a little unexpected. It turns out that Vancouver decided late this offseason to take the plunge and keep their leading scorer. According to one insider, Miller gave Vancouver a discount to get the deal done.

Let’s dive in.

NHL Rumors: Habs sign Dach, what’s next?

Montreal made a splash at the draft by acquiring the former third overall pick in 2019 from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a first and third round pick in this year’s draft.

Dach, 21, collected 26 points in 70 games during the 2021-22 campaign. For his career, all with the Blackhawks, he’s amassed 59 points in 152 contests spanning three seasons.

The Canadiens still have moves to make for the upcoming season but a lot of that hinges on Carey Price.

“This summer he went through the process of a shot to the knee seeing if that would help,” GM Kent Hughes said via NHL.com. “It did not, and at this point, we don’t expect Carey to be available for the start of this season. Quite frankly, I don’t know that there’s a path for Carey to return this season through the rehab process.”

Price, 35, had a difficult campaign battling injuries suffered during the Habs Stanley Cup run in 2021. After having offseason knee surgery, he entered the league’s NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. It caused him to miss almost the entirety of the 2021-2022 campaign as he was only able to appear in five games. The 15 year veteran, all with Montreal, posted a 1-4-0 record with a 3.63 GAA and .878 SV%.

Montreal is currently listed as being $10.2 million over the cap, Price’s AAV is $10.5 million but he would need to stay on LTIR for cap relief.

Regardless, the Habs need to make room for Sean Monahan after his acquisition this summer from Calgary. That means several players like Josh Anderson may be traded before the season starts. Also keep an eye on Christian Dvorak and Mike Hoffman to be on the move.

Then there’s the connection Jeff Gorton has with the New York Rangers and Nils Lundkvist, whom he drafted. The young right-handed defenseman is looking for an opportunity and Montreal would be a fit. The question for the Rangers is if they think center prospect Jan Mysak is equal value.

NHL Rumors: Canucks came to Miller

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Oct 15, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Miller is happily staying put with the Vancouver Canucks after signing a 7-year extension worth $56 million on Friday. His new contract has an AAV of $8 million and comes with a full no-move clause for the first four years (2023-24 through 2026-27). It then becomes modified for the remaining term with a 15 team no-trade list.

Miller, 29, posted 32 goals, 67 assists, and 99 points which were all career highs in 80 games last season.

“It’s a very easy decision for me to want to stay there,” Miller explained. “We have a very good group of players and we could do some special things. I think we’re just scratching the surface with our potential, and it’s one of the main reasons like I said I want to be there.”

According to Elliotte Friedman, he said that this deal “came out of nowhere.” He reports that about a week before the announcement, things were really quiet and that the two sides were not going to be able to get something done. That’s when Vancouver realized they had to pay to keep a player of his caliber around.

“Miller made some concessions,” Friedman added. “I think he felt he could do better on the open market. He also agreed to a contract structure that makes that seventh year able to be bought out.”

Ducks circling Evan Rodrigues

Forward Evan Rodrigues is one of the more interesting UFA’s to still remain unsigned. But it’s not for a lack of suitors which now includes the Anaheim Ducks.

“I think this one gets sorted out this week,” Friedman said. “He’s looking for the best value and where he could get the biggest role. One of the team’s that’s in there is Anaheim and it makes sense because they could pay him and flip him.”

Other teams that could be looking at Rodrigues are the Flames, Penguins, Canucks, Stars, and Islanders. Last season, the 29 year-old amassed 43 points in 82 games on a one-year deal worth $1,000,000.