Photo Credit: Sportsnet

Canucks acquire J.T. Miller from the Tampa Bay Lightning

The Canucks have swung a trade to open up day two of the NHL Entry Draft.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were needing to some moves to get make their salary cap situation a little better and it appears that the Canucks were there to add J.T. Miller.

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At this moment, there is no word on the exact return but Brendan Batchelor from Sportsnet 650 reported that it does not include the 40th overall pick

J.T. Miller has four years remaining on his deal with an AAV of $5.25m per season. Miller saw his role diminish with the Tampa Bay Lightning and suffered from a 4% shooting percentage this past season, so it was easy to pinpoint him as a piece that the Lightning could move out to give them some breathing room under the salary cap ceiling.

With that in mind, Miller has done well at 5 on 5 play but has thrived on the man advantage. It’s a clear upgrade to the Canucks top six and fills a need the organization had. He is 26 years old but the cap hit isn’t prohibitive and he should be able to thrive alongside Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser or Bo Horvat.

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The Canucks are sending the 71st overall pick today, Marek Mazanec, and a conditional first round pick in 2020 or 21, which is as follows:

  • As much as I hate giving up a 1st rounder, Miller can add points like Boeser or Horvat.
    When you look at Boeser’s last 2 years, he has contributed about 28G-28A-56PTS over 65 games. (Which is 34G-35A-69PTS over 82 games). In the last 3 years, Horvat has averaged about 25G-32A-57PTS over 70 games. Over the last 3 years, Miller has averaged about 20G-35A-55PTS over 80 games between NYR and TB, except that he did this with fewer minutes and lesser scoring opportunities than Boeser and Horvat.

    So what did Benning just do? He sacrificed a precious 1st rounder for a player with Horvat-like size, point production, and ruggedness that’s cost-controlled for the next 4 years. When you factor in the potential for Pearson to produce Top-6 points over a full season, Benning just got some much-needed support to take the load off Pettersson, Boeser, and Horvat over the next few seasons. If Baertschi can be healthy next season and if Gaudette, Goldobin and/or Virtanen can step up, we should see a significantly different team next season.

    To the Benning-haters, you keep complaining about a lack of bold moves and not making the playoffs, yet when Benning makes a bold move that will help us make the playoffs, you complain. You can’t have it both ways nor always complain when every draft pick is instant impact or you didn’t swindle every GM in a trade.

  • DJ_44

    Here are comps over the last two seasons for forwards with similar(ish) production (some a bit better, most lower). I also included Muzzin and Hamonic as middle pairing defenceman, similar-ish age with term left on their contracts. I have included all I thought relevant.

    2019 – Jimmy Hayes for 1st (protected) and Lemieux. —- Hayes was a rental. WPG recouped a 5th

    2019 – Gustav Nyquist – 2nd and 3rd (rental)

    2019 – Marcus Johannson – 2nd and 4th. (rental)

    2019 – Mats Zuccarello – 2nd and a 3rd (rental) OR 1st and a 2nd if he resigns.

    2019 – Ryan Dzingel – 2 x 2nd and Duclair. (rental)

    2019 Charlie Coyle ((one year of term to UFA) – Ryan Donato and a 4th

    2019 – Jake Muzzin (one year then UFA) – 1st, Druzi (a 2017 2nd rounder), Gundstrom (a 2016 2nd rounder)

    2018 – Thomas Tatar – 1st, 2nd, and a 3rd (3 yrs to UFA @ $5.3M)

    2017 – Kyle Turris (immediately resigned for 6x $6M at age 27) – Kamenev, Girard, 2nd Rd pick.

    2017 – Travis Hamonic (and a 4th) – 1st (not protected), 2 x 2nd rounders

    2017 – Martin Hanzal (rental). – 1st and a 2nd

    I did not included any of the expansion related deals for obvious reasons.

    Based on the comps, Benning did not appear to overpay (provided they make the playoffs in 1 of the following two years).

    • liqueur des fenetres

      So now the objective is to make the playoffs at all costs so the trade doesn’t look bad? A lot can change between now and the start of the 20/21 season, but specifically which teams do you see them edging out to make the playoffs in 2 seasons?

      • DJ_44

        So now the objective is to make the playoffs at all costs so the trade doesn’t look bad?

        The objective is to make the playoffs. Agree or disagree, the team believes the team is ready to compete for the playoff this year and next. This is not because of how the trade will look: it does not even factor into the reasoning.

        In essences, the team is backing themselves: what a concept.

        I think Vegas will be leading the Pacific charge over the next two years. After that, it is up for grabs.

        In the Central, you have Colorado as a 1, with Winnipeg…..then it is wide open.

        • liqueur des fenetres

          I have no disagreement with using the playoffs as a marketing slogan and as a focus for the players, but teams don’t qualify for them in a vacuum.

          Looking at the 8 making it in the past season maybe only Dallas looks to be in a bit of a precarious position. Then looking at those on the outside you have at least 3 teams in addition to Vancouver vying for Dallas’s spot. Sure, anything can happen over the next 2 seasons but the likelihood is that Vancouver won’t make it in, and that this pick will be a lottery pick.

      • Explain how this trade was an “at all costs” move? So melodramatic. It was a 1st rounder that will be 4 years after Benning switched from retool to rebuild, it’s not the end of the world. The objectives is always to make the playoffs, getting Pettersson was a surprise that moved our window up significantly.

    • Duke Hauser

      These team were all chasing The Cup not a basement team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 4 years. Tamps is in cap hell and Benning gave away a 1st round pick. Just brutal

    • j2daff

      TDL moves should be viewed with a massive grain of salt when using them for comparison. Player value swells as the TDL approaches and rentals are more or less valuable to some teams and in some seasons.

      • DJ_44

        I think stating it “swells” also is as much true as it is false. There may be a market for a player, or there may not be ….. it depends on a lot of factors. Some TDLs are buyers markets and some are perceived as sellers.

        The TDL moves should actually be viewed with discount, since the majority of players are rentals. The value received by the receiving team is for a very limited time. There is next to zero opportunity to recoup value (get a late rounder for negotiating rights 10% (?) of the time.

        A protected first, a second, or a third is worth the same no matter what time of year it is traded.

      • Captain Video

        Just heard an interview with JT. First the concerning news: he was self-admittedly hung over. Next he attributed his lofty point totals of past seasons to playing with Stamkos and Kucherov. He attributed his point decline last season to a shift in his role to a third and fourth line player. He focuses on puck possession and turning his back to defenders in the offensive zone.
        He also likes to hunt in his spare time.

        Aside from the issue of gross overpayment for a cap dump, I’m disappointed Benning didn’t at least try to hold discussions with Panarin, a true first line forward who drives the bus and isn’t just a passenger, before committing the Canucks’ cap space to Miller.

        • When you ignored the Miller trade for a moment, we would have had $23M in cap space. If we resign Boeser to $7M per season and then focus on our RFA’s (Leivo $1M, Goldobin $1.1M, Granlund $1.6M, Hutton $3M – ignoring Motte, Teves, Rafferty, Schenn who can get sent to Utica), you can start to see a major cap crunch. That only leaves $9M and I think Panarin will get more than that, seeing how Erik Karlsson got $11.5M and Hayes got $7M. With the Miller trade and the resignings above, we would have $4M left to pursue a RHD like Colin Miller. How much do you realistically think we could pay Panarin and how do you fit that under the cap?