According to a report from Vancouver Canucks insider Ben Kuzma of The Province newspaper, Canucks GM Jim Benning received a call from Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin this week and it wasn't to discuss Thanksgiving dinner. Although... the two did "talk turkey" according to Kuzma.
Kuzma reports that Guerin called Benning to inquire about forward J.T. Miller and that the Canucks may have interest in a trade centering around Miller and Wild forward Kevin Fiala.
From Kuzma's latest column for The Province:
It’s J.T. Miller the Wild has called about.
The wolves are always at the door in sensing that a wounded club may be willing to part with a front-line player, if the return is right. And with the hockey operations department in turmoil as ownership ponders its next step, a trade might be a logical means to send a message.
In a Miller acquisition, the Wild would likely dangle winger Kevin Fiala, 25, who has had ample opportunity to score, but has just three goals despite 58 shots — which speaks to his minuscule 5.1 shooting percentage. He’s also in the final year of a contract that carries a US $5.1-million salary cap hit.
- Ben Kuzma
I like Fiala as a player, but he's not the nearly point a game player that Miller has proven himself to be over the past few seasons. And while the Canucks have struggled mightily this season, Miller has still been productive. He has seven goals and 19 points in 19 games to start the season. He's certainly not the problem in Vancouver, which has me thinking the team won't give him up easily. So... what else would it take for the Wild to pry him away? What would the Wild have to add on top of Fiala in a potential deal for Miller?
More from Kuzma:
Winger Jordan Greenway, 24, would provide girth and grit at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds and is playing on the second line with 2019 first-round pick Matthew Boldy rehabbing an ankle fracture. But to imagine Elias Pettersson with that big winger to create time and space is a reach.
- Ben Kuzma
While it must sound appealing to a rebuilding Canucks team to stock up on assets, I don't think they'll take the bait here. The fact is that the Canucks need more players like Miller, not fewer. Erasing him from the team's lineup and their locker room doesn't help solve the problems they currently have and for that reason I can't see them moving on from him unless they get a ridiculous offer.