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Canucks extend J.T. Miller on 7-year deal

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

The Vancouver Canucks announced they've signed J.T. Miller to a new seven-year pact carrying an average annual value of $8 million.

Miller is already under contract for the upcoming season with a $5.25-million cap hit.

Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford explained why the club gave Miller - who'll turn 30 in March 2023 - a seven-year contract at that rate on top of the one year for which the veteran forward is already on the books.

"You have to take some risk," Rutherford told Sportsnet's Iain MacIntyre. "For what J.T. has done, what he's capable of doing, we just felt it was worth that. He's a good player, he wants to be here. He'll figure out a way to contribute in the latter stages of that contract."

There was some uncertainty as to whether Miller would be part of the Vancouver's long-term plans, and several teams apparently inquired about his availability in February. Then in early July, it was reported the two sides were far apart in extension talks.

However, a couple weeks later, Miller's agent said there was a "realistic path" toward a deal.

The 29-year-old established career highs in goals (32), assists (67), points, and average time on ice (21:05) last season - his third campaign with the Canucks and 10th in the NHL.

Miller ranked sixth in the league in assists and ninth in points in 2021-22 and placed sixth in ATOI among NHL forwards. He tied for the team lead in goals and paced the club in both assists and points.

The Ohio-born skater, who can play both center and left wing, posted favorable five-on-five expected goals for (51.03) and scoring chances for (51) percentages in the last campaign, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Miller spent parts of two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning after suiting up with the New York Rangers for his first five-plus campaigns. The Bolts traded him to the Canucks in June 2019.

Vancouver will now shift its focus to securing captain Bo Horvat's services beyond the upcoming season. He's a pending unrestricted free agent on a deal carrying a $5.5-million cap hit.

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