The Vancouver Canucks and general manager Jim Benning seem intent on bringing back 36 year-old Ryan Miller for another stint between the pipes. On one hand it’s an understandable position, Miller was arguably the team’s best player last season and can provide them with stable goaltending as they attempt to re-stock the franchise with young talent. On the other hand, can’t Jacob Markstrom do the same thing? And given his age and contract, shouldn't he be thrust into the starting role more urgently?
The 27 year-old Markstrom will begin the first year of a three year, $11 million contract in 2017-18 and will surely be looking for a larger share of the crease. Speculation around the team's insistent on brining back Miller has led to some pushback from fans who want to see Markstrom as the team's starting goaltender. Well, according to Benning, there concerns are misplaced. “Jacob Markstrom’s going to be our number one goalie going forward,” Benning said when speaking with TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Ah, now suddenly things make a little more sense. When it was first reported that the Canucks were interested in re-signing Miller, it was assumed that he’d continue to be the starter or at least split starts with Markstrom. With this latest development, however, it appears Miller is being cast more in a backup role.
Benning continued, “We feel with where we’re at, we need good goaltending every night to be competitive with these young players up front, so we’re gonna talk to Ryan and his agent and if we can figure something out we’d love to have him back.”
Canucks fans, does this change how you feel about a Miller re-signing?