Another day for the Vancouver Canucks and another bold move by General Manager Jim Benning to re-tool his team.
On the first day of free agency, when at last count 87 players were signed to new contracts, Benning waded in hip deep and pulled out the biggest fish in the goaltending barrel in Ryan Miller.
Miller is 34 and has signed on for three seasons at 6 million dollars per…for those of you wailing about picking up a veteran goalie at that price, consider the alternative.
Eddie Lack may be a long term solution for Vancouver, but he clearly is not ready to face what will be a steady diet of pucks for the next couple of seasons while the Canucks are re-fit.
Miller has a career average in the mid twos and a save percentage of 91.5…numbers that are similar to Luongo’s over the same timeframe, except for the past seven seasons, Luongo for all but one year has been on a playoff contender.
Over the same span, Miller has been fighting for his playoff life with a bad Buffalo team….so he will be used to the pressure of getting into the playoffs every year and get ready Canucks fans, that will be his fate here for the next couple of years minimum.
Ryan Miller gives the Canucks organization instant credibility between the pipes, something that they cannot sell with Eddie Lack. If the Canucks start out a little sluggish to begin the new campaign, they now have someone who can try to bail them out, as Miller did on many occasions for Buffalo.
Last but most important, Miller WANTS to be here.
Luongo was looking for the trap door for years while Schneider grew weary of the circus.
Any goalie who wants to be here will work, because even if the Canucks have overpaid for Ryan Miller, fans will love that fact that he wants to play and win for them.