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Bruins sign Kevan Miller to 4-year deal, for some reason

Kevan Miller was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, after making $800,000 last season. Instead, he’ll make $2.5 million next season, and three more after that, as the Boston Bruins re-signed him to a new four-year deal on Tuesday. 

From the Bruins:

In his third season with Boston, Miller competed in a career-high 71 games and also established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+15). Miller played in his 100th NHL game on November 5, 2015 at Washington. In total, the 28-year-old blueliner has played in 159 games at the NHL level – all with Boston – racking up 8-23=31 totals, while amassing 106 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 11 postseason contests with the Bruins and registered two assists.

Prior to joining Boston, Miller competed in 154 games with the Providence Bruins (AHL) where he posted 7-38= 45 totals. He also played four seasons of college hockey at the University of Vermont from 2007-2011, serving as the team’s captain in 2010-11 and co-captain in 2009-10. The 6’2”, 210-pound native of Los Angeles, CA, was signed by the Bruins as a free agent on October 21, 2011.

So this signing … yeah.

Miller’s $2.5 million salary joins those of Dennis Seidenberg ($4 million) and Adam McQuaid ($3 million) as too much investment for too little return. In Miller’s case, he’s a bottom-pairing defenseman that’s signed a four-year term, which is nutty.

From Stanley Cup of Chowder, which handed out an ‘F’ to Miller in his postseason report card. The ‘F’ not standing for ‘fabulous,’ we imagine:

From the fancy stats side of things, it seems like Miller's game fits firmly in a bottom pairing setup and only there. His overall possession gives us this impression when generating shots and re and even a stupidly high xGA60 seems to make him look slightly...better? However, in his role of the top four, he more often than not got overrun by players that are far and above his particular skill set. As he was shuffled down the lineup, this was less of a problem, but he still struggled with high pressure situations and occasionally, and bafflingly for him, played the puck passively.

K.Miller is now an unrestricted free agent, and I really don't know if the Bruins will sign him again. He's been in the organization long enough for people to get an opinion of him, he's regularly savaged by the media for being the defensemen in some of the more embarrassing to watch goals against, and has largely not proven himself capable of the minutes he's asked to perform. If they do decide to resign, I really hope it's for cheap. 

It wasn’t.

This Miller signing smacks of the kind of “good soldier” contract that inevitably comes back to bite a team: a little too long, a little too much, but a known quantity that a team locks up not for any potential benefit other than familiarity and chemistry.

Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe called the contact “market price for a D-man with room to grow,” which is either a sad indictment of the market or a gross misrepresentation of Miller, who at 28 is only going to be Kevan Miller four years from now. 


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.



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