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J.T. Miller’s Actions Providing Unnecessary Distraction for Canucks

J.T. Miller’s actions on and off the ice give the Vancouver Canucks more negative attention they can’t afford amid a losing season.

The Vancouver Canucks have not been the face of good publicity since the start of the season. They started the year 0-5-2 and are now third-worst in the Pacific Division with a 16-18-3 record. Of course, the team itself would take the sole brunt of criticism as most are not performing to standards, but one player, in particular, is sticking out more than the rest: J.T. Miller. While he is not the only player on the Canucks that is “underperforming,” he has made headlines this past week with his actions.

Miller’s struggles started the second the season began when the team surrendered eight goals in two games against the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. Miller was on the ice for all of them; unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. He has been criticized for his play all season, and it seemed to come to a head on Jan. 2 when he made this statement:

It seemed like the wrong choice of words amid the team’s struggles, but it also doesn’t help that not all of that statement could be perceived as accurate. For perspective, Miller has been productive this season. He has 31 points in 37 games with 13 goals, which is fourth-best on the team. However, he is struggling with defense, as his minus-15 rating is the worst on the Canucks. That is not up to par for someone who has always been regarded as a two-way player.

The other area in which Miller’s comments could be untrue comes from the treatment of his teammates. On Dec. 29, he was seen yelling at goaltender and teammate Collin Delia to get off the ice against the Winnipeg Jets, so the Canucks could use the extra attacker. It was a moment that went viral, and NHL insider Frank Seravalli chimed in on the debacle on the Daily Faceoff Rundown Podcast, stating, “I also just think it speaks to the overall dickishness, like is that a phrase of J.T. Miller? That, like its driven people crazy there in that market; that he’s kind of developed a reputation on that team of being a prick. And this was an example of that for everyone to see in front of everyone else.” So that’s not playing the right way, either.

Related: J.T. Miller Taking Heat For Disrespecting Teammate G Collin Delia

Overall, this season has been a nightmare for Miller on and off the ice. He is a talented player that does many things well, but his attitude and newfound reputation have distracted the team. He is a guy known for his blunt, emotional honesty when talking to the media, but this season has not painted him in the best light. The behavior likely stems from frustration from his team not doing well and is not being relayed correctly. To be clear, this does not make he is a bad person. It is likely coming from a competition standpoint, not a personal one.

JT Miller Canucks trade rumors
JT Miller Canucks trade rumors

However, issues arise because, for someone who is supposed to be a leader on the team, you want to see something else. When he was signed to a seven-year, $56 million contract extension in September, general manager Patrik Allvin stated that Miller’s “competitive drive provides a standard that our players can look up to.” But it’s clear he is not setting that example at the moment. 

Miller and the Canucks have to figure it out soon, as his contract doesn’t kick in until next season, which makes him unlikely to get traded, even if the team wanted to move on from their alternate captain. The Canucks have dealt with enough criticism because they have missed the playoffs six times in the last seven years. They don’t need Miller adding unnecessary fuel to the fire. The good news is that he still has over half a season left to put this behind him and lead by example on the ice because Vancouver needs him if they want to make some noise during the second half.

Next: 5 Teams Needing Impact 2nd-Half Punch Via NHL Trade Market



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