In this edition of Vancouver Canucks’ News & Rumors, three teams are interested in acquiring J.T. Miller. Additionally, the Canucks hired Émilie Castonguay as the team’s assistant general manager (GM). Also, head coach Bruce Boudreau coached his 1000th game over the weekend.
3 Teams Interested in Miller
Frank Seravalli joined Sportsnet 650 on Monday and discussed three additional teams interested in acquiring Miller. Along with the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, and Calgary Flames are interested in acquiring the Canucks’ point leader.
Despite the interest in the forward, president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford noted Miller is the team’s best forward, and he likes him. However, Rutherford added teams will call the club regarding Miller, but a decision won’t be made until they have more voices, such as the organization’s next GM.
A trade involving Miller is an interesting topic. He has been the Canucks best forward this season, but his value is at an all-time high, and it could be the perfect time for the club to get a good package from one of the four teams interested in him. Additionally, Brock Boeser is a restricted free agent this offseason, and he’s owed a qualifying offer of $7.5 million. After the 2022-23 season, Miller and Bo Horvat will be unrestricted free agents, followed by Elias Pettersson as a restricted free agent after the 2023-24 season. Therefore, the Canucks may have to start planning ahead in order to bring a majority of their key players back.
Miller has 12 goals and 39 points in 39 games this season. Since joining the Canuck, he has played his best hockey, scoring 54 goals and posting 157 points in 161 games.
Canucks Hire Émilie Castonguay
The Canucks announced the club hired Castonguay as the franchise’s first-ever female assistant GM and second in NHL history. Rutherford noted she will play a role in player contracts and negotiation, managing the collective bargaining agreement, and will have a voice in all aspects of hockey operations.
Castonguay joins the Canucks after becoming the first female NHLPA Certified Agent in Canada in 2016, as she represented numerous players at multiple levels, including the NHL, American Hockey League (AHL), Junior and Internationally. She represented players such as two-time Winter Olympic Gold medal winner Marie-Philip Poulin, Rangers forward Alexei Lafreniere and former Canuck Antoine Roussel. Prior to becoming a player agent, she played four years of NCAA hockey at Niagara University.
Castonguay added Vancouver is a special place to her as her late sister Valerie predicted she’d one day be the GM of the Canucks.
“I was lying in bed watching Friends re-runs and she came in and we had a conversation,” Castonguay said. “I made a joke and she said: ‘Oh, I think we’ve known your career has been over for a long time in hockey.’ I was third-line winger in the NCAA… so obviously I wasn’t going to have much of a career playing after college. But she said: ‘You’re going to do your law degree like me. You’re going to go to law school and then you’re going to become GM for the Vancouver Canucks.'”
Castonguay’s ultimate goal is to become the GM of an NHL franchise, and Vancouver would be the best spot for her to accomplish that goal.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Whistler and Tofino, and Squamish is probably my favourite place,” she said. “Everything from Granville Island to Stanley Park, just everything, Vancouver is my place, where I feel at home the most in the world. It’s crazy to say that, but I’m not even making it up. That’s where I feel at home.
“I plan on being there for a long time, for the rest of my life if I can. I’m taking this challenge very seriously. Failure is not an option here for us. We’re going to do things the right way and with the right people, and players are going to feel like they want to be there. That’s my goal.”
Boudreau’s 1000th Game
Boudreau coached his 1000th game on Sunday against the St. Louis Blues. He is the 29th coach to reach the milestone in the NHL.
He has a record of 577-306-117 in those 1000 games. He’s coached with four different organizations over 14 years in the NHL, including the Canucks (16), Washington Capitals (329), Anahiem Ducks (352) and Minnesota Wild (303). Boudreau spoke on what the milestone means for him:
“I think if anything it means acceptance, that I’m an NHL coach,” Boudreau said. “I don’t know if makes any sense to anybody else, but I mean I was 33 years basically in the minors (as a player and a coach). So to get this 1,000th game after not being in the NHL until you’re 53, I think is pretty cool that I finally feel like I’m accepted as a guy that’s been in the NHL for a while.”
Players Returning from COVID Protocol
The Canucks continued to see their players placed on COVID protocol over the past week. Along with Miller, Horvat, Conor Garland, Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak, the Canucks added Spencer Martin to COVID protocol. Martin played a big game against the Florida Panthers on Friday before being placed on the list, which led to Michael DiPietro starting against the Blues on Sunday. Meanwhile, Rylan Toth served as the emergency backup goalies as Arturs Silovs was placed on COVID protocol, as well.
However, the Canucks are getting some players back for their matchup against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Miller and Martin returned to practice on Tuesday and will play in the matchup against the Oilers.
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.