Ryan Miller’s recovery isn’t behind schedule says Desjardins, agent

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks and the agent for Ryan Miller gently disputed some of the details of a report that surfaced on Wednesday from TSN’s Farhan Lalji, which suggested that the Canucks’s starter was not going to return to action within his original four-to-six week recovery timeline, that he was several weeks away from even skating, and that the goaltender wouldn’t return before the NHL playoffs.

It would appear that while Miller has taken part in some on-ice workouts, he’s yet to skate with equipment, according to Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins. Also Miller’s agent Mike Liut contended in a conversation with News 1130 Sports that Miller isn’t behind schedule, he’s on schedule, and a four week recovery timeline was always an optimistic fallacy. 

Read past the jump.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty a bit, and try to figure out what’s going on here.

Liut – Miller’s agent, who also represents former Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider, so we can assume he’s familiar with how crazy the Vancouver market can get about Canucks goaltenders – elaborated on Miller’s timeline during a conversation with News 1130 Sports on Thursday.

“He is not behind schedule, he is on schedule,” Liut insisted. “This injury is never 4 weeks for a goalie, it’s 6-8 weeks.”

Wednesday’s news was also a surprise to Canucks general manager Jim Benning:

Meanwhile, Canucks head coach Desjardins suggested that Miller had in fact begun skating but avoided confirming that Miller’s recovery is behind schedule during his availability on Thursday.

“I think Ryan is on track from everything I’ve heard,” Desjardins said. “He has skated, but not with gear on.”

So what do we make of this cacophony of mixed messages? I think the key thing to remember is that Miller was originally reported to be likely to miss “a minimum” of four-to-six weeks. That was three-and-a-half weeks ago, and obviously Miller isn’t close. 

So the four-to-six week timeline seems like it was overly optimistic, which is what Lalji’s report stated, although – we suppose – technically Miller may still be ‘on’ rather than ‘behind’ schedule because four-to-six weeks was always presented as an optimistic projection. 

In the immediate wake of Miller’s knee injury the Canucks were very open about their intention of proceeding with extreme caution. From a Benning appearance on TSN 1040 in late February:

So he got the MRI done, it looks like he’s got a sprained knee and so the timetable for Ryan is going to be anywhere from 4-6 weeks. So we’ll just keep looking at it as we go through the process here.

We won’t bring him back, and he won’t be playing, until he’s 100 percent healthy. It looks like it’s going to be that long..

With the end of regular season rapidly approaching – it’s now only 23 days away – Miller isn’t close to returning. That much everyone seems to agree on. 

Though details were quibbled with and semantics debated on this issue on Thursday, all that really matters is that the substantive part of Lalji’s report – that Miller won’t be back in the Canucks crease prior to the beginning of the NHL postseason – isn’t in any obvious dispute.

  • Vanoxy

    This is probably a good thing, frankly.

    Eddie has stepped up admirably, and trying to work Miller back into the fold with a few games left would have disrupted the momentum.

    It’s Lack’s team now. We can re-assess the situation after the season, but for now, run with the hot hand.

    In the midst of a rebuild/re-tool/reset I’d rather see what the young guy can bring to the table than run with a guy who has already played his best hockey… 5 years ago.

    Besides, it seems like ages since we’ve had a good ol’ fashioned goalie controversy to discuss over the summer…