Ramblings: Colin Miller Signing, Who Is Jan Kovar? (July 8)

Ian Gooding

2018-07-08


Colin Miller Signing, Who Is Jan Kovar?

Hey there, I’m back after spending a few days at the lake. So although I was able to follow what was generally happening on Twitter, I still feel like I need to get my game legs back after getting out the car just a few hours ago. So for lack of other topics, I’ll focus on some general news topics from the last day or two.

Saturday’s most significant news was of Colin Miller signing a four-year, $15.5 million contract to stay in Vegas. A cap hit of $3.875 million per season seems very reasonable given his production in one season in Vegas, even if that means a $2.875 million raise for salary cap leaguers.

Back on April 8, Miller was the feature in our weekly Geek of the Week feature. In the article, Scott pointed out that Miller was the 46th-most valuable skater in a league that counts goals, assists, shots on goal, power-play points, and hits. Miller’s goals and assists total wasn’t nearly as high as the players he was ranked near (Vladimir Tarasenko, Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Artemi Panarin). But his hits total (160) boosted his value in that particular league format.

Perhaps why Miller seems like such a bargain for a 40-point defenseman is that prior to 2017-18, he had never scored more than 16 points in a season over his previous two seasons (only 61 and 42 games played in those two seasons). If he can maintain this production, then this contract could be a steal for Vegas as they attempt to build on their unusually successful first season. Upon being selected by the expansion Golden Knights, Miller’s icetime increased about three and a half minutes per game, with a power-play icetime increase of over a minute per game.

Of course, one ongoing concern for Miller owners is the growing presence of Shea Theodore on the first-unit power play. During the playoffs, Theodore averaged more power-play time (3:01 PP TOI/GP) than any other Vegas skater, including Miller. Theodore possesses higher offensive upside, so I’d lean toward him as the blueline option should Vegas go with a 4F-1D format on the first-unit power play. Still, Miller should be a solid option again next season now that he is a fixture on the Vegas defense, particularly in multicategory leagues that count hits.

Having said that, the potential acquisition of Erik Karlsson would significantly cut into the value of both players (assuming neither is part of the return package – wait, maybe they would lose value if they went to the mess that is Ottawa, although players can still post big numb