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Screen Shots: Kadri, Price and J.T. Miller's Future in Vancouver

Adam Proteau looks at Nazem Kadri's new contract in Calgary, what's next for Carey Price and the ongoing trade rumors surrounding J.T. Miller with the Canucks.
Carey Price

It’s time for a new Screen Shots. Regular readers of this space know it’s where we take a more brief look at a handful of hockey topics. Here, we’ll show you how below:

– One of the interesting things in center Nazem Kadri choosing the Calgary Flames as his new employer for the next seven years: this is the same Flames team Kadri didn’t want any part of back in 2019, when he vetoed a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs to Calgary. At the time, Kadri was too deep in love to want out of Toronto, the team that drafted him and was his childhood favorite. But he’s grown as a businessman, and don’t think that didn’t factor into his seven-year, $49-million contract Flames GM Brad Treliving gave to him this past week.

Still, if the Flames weren’t a fit for Kadri for whatever personal reason he might have had, he simply wouldn’t have signed there. He had options, including the New York Islanders. Instead of going to a non-traditional market, Kadri, of his own volition, chose the microscope and the pressure of Calgary. That’s a credit to his competitiveness, and his willingness to stay in Canada provides a great example for other young players to follow.

And to fans of all teams, this should be a lesson: just because a player doesn’t see himself as a match with your team today, doesn’t necessarily close the book on that player finding a match with the same team down the line.

– News broke this week that star Canadiens goalie Carey Price suffered a training setback and may miss the entire 2022-23 season, if he isn’t forced to retire and end a 15-season NHL career. The news is as devastating as it gets for Montreal fans and Price himself. But the truth is, Price has given it his all throughout his career, and if his body is saying, “uncle”, he shouldn’t feel as if he owes it to anyone else to prolong his pain for their viewing enjoyment. At age 35, he’s accomplished everything other than a Stanley Cup championship, and he nearly did that two years ago. He’s got an Olympic Gold medal, a Vezina Trophy as the game’s best goalie, and a Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable players. Lots of terrific players don’t have a Cup win under their belts, and Price has nothing to be ashamed about.

We may have seen the last of Price on an ice rink, but something tells us he’ll still remain in the public eye via his well-known-and-admired humanitarianism, and he’ll likely be a Habs ambassador for the rest of his days. Hopefully, better, pain-free days ahead. That’s all hockey fans should want for him now.

– Finally, a comment on Canucks forward J.T. Miller, and rumored trades: it shouldn’t come as a surprise he’s still on Vancouver’s roster, even if many NHL teams want him on their side. Miller’s $5.25-million salary this season is too pricey for the cap situation of some franchises, but by waiting until the season begins – and, very likely, until the NHL’s trade deadline – Canucks GM Patrik Allvin is creating a bigger market for Miller’s services.

By waiting longer, Allvin is hoping other teams’ injuries and other teams’ trades will increase the number of teams prepared to eat Miller’s contract, and thus allow him to drive up the asking price on the trade market. Besides, the Canucks as currently constructed are going to be in the mix for a playoff berth in the Pacific Division. They may not be able to keep Miller around in the long term, but they can hold onto him for as long as possible and get the most out of him as an asset.

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