Miller’s agent clears up contract numbers but this is still a shortsighted deal by Gorton

JT Miller (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

JT Miller (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last night there was a bit of confusion as to J.T. Miller‘s contract. His agent took to twitter to clarify it.

So the official AAV Cap Hit is 2.75M for the next two seasons.

Miller is Banking On Himself…Again

Pat Leonard wrote that much like his last deal when he signed for 1 year, Miller is betting on himself again. “Miller still will be a year away from unrestricted free agency when this contract expires, and it’s a risk not to sign for more years.” Leonard further explains, “But a longer term contract would have meant locking in at a lower salary than Miller has the potential to earn on his next deal if he can replicate or improve upon his 22-goal, 43-point season.”

This basically reiterates what I wrote about Miller when I tried to predict what his contract would be.

Once again, I don’t know the circumstances so it is possible the Rangers tried to lock him up on a longer deal and Miller refused because they couldn’t agree on the salary. Trying to logically break it down in my head, the fact that it was only a two year bridge deal and not a three, could mean that Miller opted for it. The security in just two years is that the Rangers will still have some level of control for one more season before Miller is UFA eligible.

That one year comes at a time when Nash’s contract will come off the books (if they don’t trade him first). If the Rangers want, they could trade Miller or they could offer him a big contract to keep him if he so deserves it.

A Shortsighted Mistake

Ultimately, this is a shortsighted mistake in my eyes. Even though I don’t know for certainty how the negotiations played out, this was a lost opportunity for Jeff Gorton. It is possible for just 1 to 1.25M more, Miller may have locked in for 5 years. Those are the types of deals you need to make in order to win longterm.

The NHL has changed in the salary cap era. Before a GM would low ball young players and overpay on aging superstars in order to win. The big market teams would then bury contracts in the NHL or trade them by paying half their salary with no penalties. That is not how it works anymore and the way to win now is to take chances on younger players before they develop into superstars.

Just look at the recent signings the Florida Panthers have made. They are paying a little more than some of these young players are worth, banking on their future production. Unlike the Rangers who are now overpaying miserably on Dan Girardi and Marc Staal for what they did in years past.

It’s a whole new landscape in the NHL and it seems the Rangers still haven’t gotten the memo.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore