Nazem Kadri's new seven-year, $49-million contract with the Calgary Flames will affect the market value of next year's comparable free agents. It's certainly good news for J.T. Miller, assuring the 29-year-old Vancouver Canucks center will receive a big raise over his current $5.25-million salary-cap hit.
CHEK-TV's Rick Dhaliwal believes the Kadri camp did Miller and his agent a favor. Appearing on the Sekeres & Price podcast last week, Dhaliwal believes Miller won't accept anything under seven or eight years.
Pointing out that the 31-year-old Kadri got $7 million per season, Dhaliwal doubted Miller would accept a similar offer. He compared the Canucks star to New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, who's earning an annual average value of $8.5 million on an eight-year contract. Dhaliwal suggested Miller could end up in a “higher stratosphere” if he has another 99-point performance.
Miller might not match or exceed last season's career-high output. Should he reach at least 80 points, however, it should put him in the same pay grade as Zibanejad.
Earlier this month, Dhaliwal reported Miller's agent, Brian Bartlett, was unconcerned about how big a story it might be if his client reported to training camp next month without an extension. The two sides haven't had contract talks since the draft last month and he hasn't been given permission to speak with other teams.
Bartlett told Dhaliwal he hasn't spoken to Miller about cutting off talks once the regular season begins but didn't rule out that possibility. If that happens, expect the versatile two-way forward to be dogged by considerable trade speculation in what could be his final season with the Canucks.