Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Defenseman Miller signed to two-year deal
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins announced Tuesday the signing of defenseman Kevan Miller to a two-year, one-way contract through the 2015-16 season.
The deal is worth an annual cap hit of $800,000. Miller, 26, would have been a restricted free agent after this season.
He made his NHL debut on Nov. 21 against the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden, and has played a total of 16 games for the Bruins this season. He has one goal and one assist with seven penalty minutes, including one fighting major.
Time and again this season, Bruins coach Claude Julien has shown confidence in Miller by putting him on the ice during critical minutes. That was the case during Monday’s 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at TD Garden.
“He’s pretty big, he’s pretty physical, he’s having a good game. Nothing changes as far as that’s concerned,” Julien said after Monday’s game. “Guys that are playing well should be out there and they’re normally out there. He was really solid for us tonight. Big body, threw some heavy checks, and was a big factor in our win today because again, we’re a little young back there.”
Due to a slew of injuries on Boston’s blue line this season, Miller earned three separate call-ups from Providence and he’s taken advantage of his opportunities. Currently, Dennis Seidenberg (season-ending knee injury), Adam McQuaid (leg injury) and Dougie Hamilton (concussion) are sidelined with injuries and Miller is making major contributions.
“When guys get out of the line up like Seids and Hamilton, more responsibility falls on the guys in the lineup and it is obviously a confidence booster,” Miller said after Monday’s game.
A product of the University of Vermont, Miller went undrafted and the Bruins signed him as a free agent on Oct. 21, 2011.
He’s spent the majority of his pro career with the P-Bruins and has been a defensive partner with fellow Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski.
“He just plays his game. It’s a pretty simple game, it’s an effective game, he’s a strong kid and I’m sure he’s a bear to play against for the other forwards,” Bartkowski said.