Updates on the Canucks, Hurricanes & Devils – April 15, 2017
More speculation about Ryan Miller’s future with the Vancouver Canucks, the Carolina Hurricanes could go goalie shopping and the New Jersey Devils face a decision with backup Keith Kinkaid.
VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma recently reported goaltender Ryan Miller will have significant conversations about his playing future with his agent and (Canucks GM) Jim Benning. Though 36-year-old Miller’s family lives in Los Angeles, he is open to the possibility of returning to the Canucks. They can offer a one- or two-year extension for more than he would get as a backup for one of the three California-based teams. Miller has enjoyed playing in Vancouver and has a good relationship with fellow Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been some speculation this season suggesting Miller could re-sign with the Canucks. He’s completing a three-year, $18-million contract and won’t get that much again on the open market or from the Canucks. However, I can see them offering him a one- or two-year deal worth $3.5 – $4 million annually.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander recently reported Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis could look to make a move to bolster their goaltending this summer. Francis noted some teams will be exposing goalies for the NHL expansion draft in June plus there’s some options possibly available via unrestricted free agency.
Alexander pointed out the Hurricanes have 11 picks in the 2017 NHL draft, including seven in the first three rounds, giving Francis some assets to use as trade bait. He’ll also be looking to add a scoring forward or two plus he could shake things up among his fifth and sixth defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes finished 18th in goals-against per game this season (2.80) and must upgrade between the pipes. Cam Ward is past his prime and Eddie Lack hasn’t blossomed into a reliable starter. Free agent options could include Ben Bishop, Scott Darling, Steve Mason, Ryan Miller, Peter Budaj, Brian Elliott or Jonathan Bernier. Trade targets could include the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta and the Washington Capitals’ Philipp Grubauer.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports the New Jersey Devils and backup Kevin Kinkaid have to weigh their options this summer. Kinkaid, 27, is eligible for unrestricted free agency completing a two-year, $1.45 million contract. If the NY Rangers lose backup Antti Raanta to the expansion draft, Gross speculated they could kick the tires on Kinkaid as Henrik Lundqvist’s understudy.