Welcome back to WWYDW, the only hockey column on the internet with a full no-movement clause until the year 2030.
Speaking of not-moving, it sounds as if that’s the future for JT Miller of the Vancouver Canucks. After sitting through more than a calendar year of trade rumours, the 29-year-old forward signed a seven-year, $56 million extension, beginning with the 2023/24 season and carrying through all the way into the next decade.
Miller’s new contract comes with a cap hit of $8 million, a full NMC throughout, and a full no-trade clause for the first five years. It’s also heavily laden with signing bonuses.
It’s hefty, it’s considerable, and its signing has changed the very course of the future of the franchise.
But right now, all of those concerns are secondary.
This week, what we’re really concerned about is knowing:
What is your reaction to the JT Miller extension?
Let it be known in the comment section.
Which team matchup are you most looking forward to for the Vancouver Canucks in 2022/23?
You answered below!
I’m going to go with Vegas, for the main reason that they could be the team that the Canucks will be in a battle with for 3rd in the Pacific.
Seattle just to see how both Beniers and Wright are progressing, if Wright makes the team.
I will keep it simple: Game One is “game on” for me. Bring on the Oilers in game one of the 2022-23 season, as that is what I am looking forward to. Let new rivalries commence, as this team improves this season. All I want is to see the puck drop in meaningful games with a team that hopefully can skate with the best of them.
I don’t see the rivalries with this team being what they were in the previous decade. Matchups against Edmonton and Calgary are entertaining though, and I am glad to see the Oilers being the first to hear the “Bruce, there it is!” chant. Even though the game is in Edmonton…they will hear it.
Colorado for me. How do they stack up against the champs?
(Sure, why not. Winner of the Eternal Optimist Award)
Meeting Toronto in Stanley Cup Final (trying for the eternal optimist award).
I am looking forward to see how they match up against the Arizona Coyotes, especially when they play them in the Coyotes’ new 300-seat arena.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I am looking forward to games against all of the Pacific teams. Games against Edmonton will show us how they can handle speed and superstar forwards. Games against Calgary will show us how they can handle an elite 5-on-5 team that is ridiculously deep down the middle. Games against LA will show us how they can handle a younger team on that rise that has something to prove. Games against Vegas will show us how they handle a one-time power-house with character issues that will likely turn the game dirty to try and win. Games against San Jose, Anaheim, and Seattle will show us how they handle games against teams they should be beating. I suspect that Vegas, Vancouver, and LA will be battling for the 3rd seed in the Pacific, and I am really looking forward to a meaningful rivalry forming somewhere in there.
But the matchup that I am looking forward to the most is the matchup against themselves. Does this team have the confidence and the swagger and the guts to step up and perform game after game after game? No thrown games against bottom-feeders. Handle adversity like they have been through it 100 times before. To put their foot on the neck of opponents when they have them on the ropes. To not mail in a game if they get off to a bad start (I swear to god, if Miller does this again I’m going to pull out my hair). Those are the traits of a good team, I am excited to see if the Canucks fit the bill.
A River Named Curt:
Saturday, October 15 against the Canucks’ No. 1 playoff rival: the Bakersfield Condors.
Nothing really on the schedule that stands out that has not been mentioned. Arizona, we laugh but to get to see an NHL game live in a BCHL-sized arena will be pretty special, all jokes aside. Colorado, to see how we match up with our forward group. Mostly I am looking forward to BB pre- and post-game pressers. Always entertaining.
Life-long Canucks have always dreaded playing the also-ran clubs more than elite teams. Too many times, the ball has been dropped against lousier teams in clutch games, but they play the good teams actually far better. Still, the true test should be CGY, EDM, and the Cup-champ Avalanche if they plan on making noise this season. Bad clubs are the concern and always have been.
The match-up creating the most anxiety is the D-corps against father time. If we see no regression among any of the three top-four D-men over 30, the Canucks are a good team. The improvements at forward and a full year of Boudreau, and this is a playoff team. If even one of the top-four falters significantly or gets injured, the Canucks could really suffer. The drop-off to Rathbone and Dermott is a big one.