The expansion draft was not the ideal situation for all 30 NHL teams. It limited player movement last season, and kept most of the league in a holding pattern. Eventually, some teams were able to make trades with Vegas last week to limit the impact of the player they were going to lose. Some of them didn’t. And that included the Bruins.
Las Vegas selected Colin Miller from the Bruins in the expansion draft.
Personally, it sucks that the Bruins lost him. He is a young defenseman with a lot of tools that at just 24, has not quite been able to put it all together at the NHL level yet.
Miller, who came to Boston in the Milan Lucic trade with the L.A. Kings, had a tendency to make mistakes with the puck. He was a bit of a wildcard. But my biggest issue with losing Colin Miller is the fact that he was a part of the Milan Lucic trade and now the Bruins have lost him for nothing. Sure, many teams lost some one for nothing, but Miller was a worthwhile chip.
So if you are keeping track at home the Lucic trade now looks like the following:
- To LA: Milan Lucic
- To Boston: Jakub Zboril (2015 1st Round, 13th Overall), Trent Frederic (2016 1st Round, 29th Overall) and Sean Kuraly
Still a good return but one for the future. It could be argued losing Miller is poor asset management by Sweeney again, as he and crew still in the “rebuild AND win now” mindset they think is possible.
But let’s face it, if it were not for the development of Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy there is no doubt that Miller would have been protected. But here is the deal; at best Colin Miller would have been either the 6th or 7th defenseman on the Bruins for 2017-2018 season.
Kevan Miller is a better fit for that bottom pairing for the Bruins in 2017. He is a guy that can be depended on not only 5-on-5, but on the penalty kill. With Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy manning the point on the power play for years to come there also was not a true spot for Colin Miller there either. And of course, could he even get his game to the next level as well?
Ideally, Don Sweeney should have found a way to trade Colin Miller prior to the expansion draft, but those type of trades aren’t the easiest to pull off. If a trade was made, the team receiving Colin Miller would have had to protect him as well.
Now the rumor is that Colin Miller is going to get traded from Vegas to where he is coveted, Toronto. If that becomes a reality not only will it be a kick in the nuts, but it might be a gut punch as well should he fully develop.
But Bruins fans can relax. It’s going to be okay. When Charlie McAvoy is winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year this season and Colin Miller is a third pairing defenseman somewhere in the NHL everyone will forget about Colin Miller.
Are the Bruins a contender? No. But the team did not get worse by losing Colin Miller. It could be worse. Both Nashville and Pittsburgh lost much bigger pieces from their teams for nothing as well and those players would have had much more market value than Colin Miller.
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