The very first thing Vancouver Hockey Insider asked Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin when the club signed forward J.T. Miller to a seven-year, $56-million dollar contract in early September that kicks in next season was, “Did you backtime the no-movement-clause in the new deal to include the current remaining season on Miller’s old deal?”
The answer was no. NHL clubs have that option, but in this case, no current no-move-clause exists.
Having that opening, that flexibility, provides the team yet another option should the early season continue to go south and the franchise looks for some changes to its core.
That’s not to suggest it’s going to happen, the slide or a deal for Miller, but both scenarios exist. Remember, Miller’s dollar amount per season, $8-million, is market friendly.
The first disclaimer is for fans not to panic. We often hear the “plan the parade route” jokes when certain teams get off to a hot start and “the sky is falling” reactions when things don’t start off so well. Obviously the Canucks fall into the latter category. Yes, the days and games are ticking off, but it’s still early.
One will hear plenty of chatter about goaltending pecking orders, coaches on the hot seat, and trade scenarios, should Vancouver’s struggles continue. They are all valid conversations, although purely hypothetical up until this point. As is the unlikely Miller scenario.
It’s been a tough season for Vancouver prognosticators so far, with most, including us, drinking the Kool-Aid as it relates to the potential fresh, full season start under Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau. Even with shortcomings on the blueline in terms of talent and depth, there was a distinct feeling of optimism.
The slow start and the criticism of the team’s systems and structure by President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford this past Monday threw all of that out the window.
Our optimistic predictions have fallen flat. Ironically, only our cynical “Tanner Pearson will get traded before the deadline” statement made in an article in September appears to be accurate. Depending on his health, will a contending team want the experienced, former Stanley Cup champion around for a playoff run? Maybe.
We suggest the Canucks will find a way to make that move.
5) Tanner Pearson will be traded by the deadline. Sorry.
That was September 7th. Three of the other four predictions were complete clunkers, that we’ll happily review once they crash as expected.
This wasn’t supposed to be trade talk season for the Vancouver Canucks fans and media. Instead, it’s game on, and every option is a viable one.