Bruins ink defenseman Kevan Miller to four-year, $10-million contract

Kevan Miller has cashed in on his first full season in the NHL. The Bruins announced Tuesday the 28-year-old has signed a four-year, $10-million contract. Miller had five goals, 18 points and averaged 19 minutes of ice time in 71 games in 2015-16.
Author:
Publish date:
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Kevan Miller’s first full season as a Boston Bruin wasn’t without its difficulties, but the 28-year-old blueliner has managed to turn his five-goal, 18-point campaign as a second- and third-pairing defenseman into a brand new four-year deal.

The Bruins announced Tuesday that Miller, 28, has signed a four-year, $10-million deal carrying an annual cap hit of $2.5 million. The new deal is a significant raise from the $800,000 he was earning this past season. Miller played 71 games for the Bruins in 2015-16, which was the first time in his career he had played more than 50 games in a campaign in the NHL. Prior to the past season, Miller had appeared in 89 games for the Bruins.

The signing all but ensures Miller will be back in the Bruins lineup next season, and it appears to be one with the hope that Miller is on an upward trajectory. And that will need to be the case if the Bruins hope to improve their defense next season, especially considering Miller is one of only four defensemen the Bruins have locked up for next season along with Adam McQuaid, Dennis Seidenberg and captain Zdeno Chara.

Depending on what the Bruins do this off-season, Miller’s contract could see him become a bigger part of the Boston blueline. What exactly his role is next season will depend on who, if anyone, the Bruins re-sign or move along. Colin Miller, Joe Morrow and Torey Krug are all restricted free agents come July 1, and Zach Trotman and John-Michael Liles are both unrestricted free agents. It seems unlikely the Bruins will bring back either Trotman or Liles, but hanging on to at least two members of their defensive RFA group seems probable.

If the Bruins ink two of their free agent rearguards, the most likely spot for Miller will be in the middle of the defense as a fourth or fifth defenseman. This past season he averaged 19:03 of ice time per game, which ranked fifth among Bruins’ defensemen. However, his 2:31 of shorthanded ice time per outing was second only to Chara. Going forward, it’s likely Miller will still hold his spot on Boston’s penalty kill.

During the season, Miller spent most of his time playing alongside Chara and Krug, but he wasn’t quite a play-driving defender with either. Miller finished the season with a 49.8 percent shot attempts for percentage while starting nearly 31.5 percent of his shifts in the Bruins’ zone. That’s not a great possession number, but it was slightly better relative to his teammates.

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_16052262_168394049_lowres

Maple Leafs Name Jack Campbell Starting Goaltender for Game 1 Against Canadiens

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Jack Campbell's performance this season has earned him the net as the goaltender will be between the pipes for Game 1 gainst the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Craig Anderson
Play

The Pressure is on for Capitals' Craig Anderson

It's not clear how long Washington might need the 39-year-old netminder to play in the playoffs, but he knows a thing or two about some fantastic playoff performances.

USATSI_15429857

Three Players to Watch on Every Canadian Playoff Team

Beyond the obvious quartet, which players will be pillars for the Canadian NHL teams this spring, should they hope to make a deep run?