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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the J.T. Miller trade.
I like J.T. Miller quite a bit. He has put up at least 40 points in four consecutive seasons, and averaged 53 over the last three. He is efficient, too. Miller averaged 1.81 points per 60 at 5v5 from 2016-19, per NaturalStatTrick. That's more than Tomas Hertl, Max Pacioretty, Jakub Voracek, Anze Kopitar and Gabriel Landeskog, to name but a few. He is a good player and will really help. I like the add.
What I don't like is the price. Giving up a 1st rounder within the next two years, and a 3rd, for a piece that was deemed expendable by a team in a horrible cap situation is, well, a lot. At least make sure the pick is top-10 or even top-5 protected. I doubt any other team offered that kind of package, and if any team did they are probably a lot further along than the Canucks (thus the pick has less value). There is some real risk involved here.
Again, I like Miller quite a bit. I don't like the price, and I don't think trading for Miller was the best path to take considering. If the Flames wanted a power-winger who can produce at 5v5, Micheal Ferland is available in free agency and his production rate is nearly identical to Miller's over the last three seasons (1.80/60 compared to 1.81/60). All Ferland would cost is money – perhaps less than Miller is pulling in on an annual basis.
The JT Miller trade is another in the long line of idiotic moves by general manager Jim Benning. This one is quite spectacularly dumb because not only is he risking a #1 overall pick going to Tampa for a mid-range (overpaid) player, but he's also helping the league's best team out of a salary jam.
This trade is preposterous on so many levels - 1. The Lightning are in a position of weakness, so why are you paying so much? 2. How is the second year also not lottery protected? 3. Why does Vancouver think they're so close to contention? 4. How is Jim Benning employed by a professional team? 5. How is he ignorant of all the data that has been collected for years and year now? In the NHL, elite players help you win games, and spending resources and money on players without first line potential is foolish. J.T Miller is OK. But his career high 56 points came three years ago. Unless he is the Jose Bautista of the NHL, what you see is what you get, just probably less of it due to him turning 27 during next season. This trade really, really sucks. It's very stupid.
First off the trade is an absolute win for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With teams frantically trying to get rid of cap with the 81.5 million dollar cap in place, those willing to take on said cap should have the advantage in making deals.
Not only was Tampa able to dump 5.25 million in cap which they need to re-up Brayden Point, but they acquired a third round pick in the draft, and an additional first in one of the next two seasons.
The Canucks get a decent player in Miller but one has to be cautious of the "Tampa Effect" and how much he can produce when he isn't surrounded by elite forwards. Miller should turn out fine, but one has to question why Vancouver gave up so many assets when Tampa was in a bind and the Canucks could have gone after a similar player in free agency, sans giving up picks.
There is nothing wrong with trying to get JT Miller out of Tampa and use him but this comes with a huge often used but very relevant phrase 'caveat emptor' or buyer beware.
What makes the trade a bit difficult to understand is where/how Miller is going to fit into Vancouver and what problem he solves. So given the team's in salary cap trouble and the cost to receive cap trouble what made Miller so attractive to the Canucks, in particular Jim Benning?
The Canucks are in a fortunate situation with cap space, where they have no real impending doom coming and Tampa has contracts to sign so why did it cost Vancouver so much to get Miller when Toronto essentially paid Carolina to take Marleau? Miller had longer term, too, thus a bigger liability.
This is where the deal goes horribly wrong for Vancouver as they gave up a 1st round pick but one that could be a lottery pick in 2021! The Canucks have never won the draft lottery, never picked first overall and you can bet your dog, house, or wife that Tampa is going to have the number one pick overall in 2021.
Not only did they add a player who may not provide a solution to any current problems they paid to do so when the team who had the player needed contract relief! JT Miller may work out okay for the Canucks on the ice with production, but the cost to get him should have been a third round pick and never a first.
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