Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning has been clear from the end of the season that keeping Ryan Miller around for another season is something he’d like to do. Now, in speaking with Ben Kuzma of The Province, he mentions a possible one-year incentive-laden contract to keep the soon-to-be 37-year old in town.
Miller put together a pretty solid season in many respects, recording a .914 save percentage just a tick below his career average. Even as he heads into his late thirties, he’s still an effective goaltender in the league and would likely benefit even further from an improved defense should he land in a more competitive market. Instead, he may have to settle for the incentives and a one-year deal in Vancouver where he’ll help shepherd in the next wave of Canucks success.
Performance bonuses can only be given to players in certain situations, and in Miller’s case it would have to be a one-year contract. It’s unlikely he’d get much more than that on the open market, though it’s definitely something his camp will have to consider. If someone wanted to give him a two-year deal worth the same as the total possible (salary+bonuses) offered by the Canucks, he’d have to wonder whether it was the safer bet.
The Canucks will use Jacob Markstrom more next season, but many general managers including Benning have been clear that strong goaltending is a big part of developing young players. It’s the reason John Chayka wouldn’t trade Mike Smith at the deadline (though he has now) and why Benning wants Miller back at all.