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Canucks ink forward J.T. Miller to lucrative 7-year extension

·2-min read
After months of speculation surrounding his future with the Canucks, J.T. Miller has inked a long-term deal with Vancouver. (AP Photos)
After months of speculation surrounding his future with the Canucks, J.T. Miller has inked a long-term deal with Vancouver. (AP Photos)

Following months of trade rumours and speculation, the Canucks have committed to J.T. Miller.

Vancouver signed the 29-year-old forward to a seven-year, $56-million contract that will kick in to start the 2023-24 season, the team announced on Friday.

It will carry an annual average value (AAV) of $8 million per season.

Miller has one year remaining on his contract and was set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, with plenty of teams surely willing to pay the price to acquire the top-line forward. Last season Miller had a career year, registering 32 goals and 99 points — the highest total he's had in both categories — and was a bright spot for Vancouver during the team's second-half surge.

During the last calendar year, it's been a time of transition for the Canucks. After the firing of GM Jim Benning and the subsequent hiring of a progressive front office featuring Cammi Granato, Patrik Allvin, and Emilie Castonguay, the team has appeared to be on a forward trajectory, especially compared to the middling performances it's been experiencing the last decade.

Securing the 29-year-old forward’s services for seven additional years certainly puts a squeeze on their cap situation (captain Bo Horvat is a free agent next summer and star forward Elias Pettersson needs a new deal in 2024) but the club clearly wants to carry on the momentum it started building under Bruce Boudreau last season rather than plunging into a full rebuild, and Miller is a player they know, obviously love, and who fits into their plans both right now and years down the road.

During his three seasons with the Canucks, Miller has averaged over a point per game, tallying 217 — including 74 goals — in 202 games since joining the team to start the 2019-20 campaign. Miller had previous NHL stops with the Lightning and Rangers.

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