Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller may well be facing the reality of not seeing another game for the team having spent all year on long-term injured reserve.
If Kevan Miller were fit and healthy you’d have to imagine, this being his contract year and all, that the Boston Bruins would give him some ice-time even as we near crunch-time where play-off match-ups are decided. Instead, he has spent the whole season rehabbing a knee injury that first arose last year.
You can hardly imagine the Boston Bruins affording a player that hasn’t seen NHL ice-time in nearly a year any sort of game-time when they have an AHL roster of defensemen raring to step into the line-up.
It’s an unfortunate state of affairs for Kevan Miller, a player that has only ever known playing for the Boston Bruins in the NHL. At 32 years old and with a serious injury that has disrupted a whole year of his career, the team would be hard-pressed to renew in the summer too.
The latest update on his status, per NESN, was that he is able to skate on his own but the Boston Bruins medical and training staff haven’t had the confidence in his recovery to put him into any sort of proper contact situations.
This late stage of the season probably necessitates keeping him on the sidelines, most likely until summer, though the Bruins could be playing a clever game with the salary cap also; holding him on long-term injured reserve until the play-offs when the salary cap suddenly doesn’t count.
Right now, Kevan Miller’s full $2.5 million is excluded against the salary cap due to his injured status. That could also prove a valuable asset for the Bruins at trade deadline, should another team look to take on an expiring contract that doesn’t touch their cap space.
It’d be an unfortunate end for Kevan Miller, who always has given his all in Bruins colors, but such is the nature of the business that he could leave the team and still not see ice-time, even in a new destination.
We sincerely hope that Kevan Miller is afforded one more chance to skate at TD Garden, even if it’s a farewell in the final games of the season once play-off places have hopefully all been set in stone. If not, such is life; it can be a cruel mistress at times.
In all reality, you’d imagine that Urho Vaakanainen or Jakub Zboril and a returning Connor Clifton get a look-in long before Miller, even if he is fit. After all, they’re likely to hold up physically in the heat of upcoming play-off battles. With all fairness to Miller, he likely won’t.