JT Miller on contract talks, his future with the Canucks and Vasily Podkolzin’s ‘unlimited potential’ – Canucksarmy

JT Miller has been the most talked about name in Vancouver Canucks circles all offseason, and in Thursday’s edition of drop the gloves podcast, made his highly anticipated first public appearance of the offseason to speak with former NHLer John Scott. The 45-minute interview touched on all sorts of pressing topics, including Miller’s contract status, rumors about his future in Vancouver and the caliber of the team around him.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is where Miller sees himself a year from now. But until told otherwise, Vancouver is where she plans to be.

“It is a new adjustment for our management, it is new for us. They were there for three months, there’s just a lot going on. They have a lot of decisions to make about a lot of players and at this point with negotiations we’re not as close as we’d like to be,” Miller said.

“Everyone has a vision and as I have said from day one, I want to be there. But with that said, if it’s not meant to be, I get that too. Trust me, I would like to close a deal in Vancouver and I want to be there, but at the same time you have to respect everyone’s vision and if that doesn’t line up, it is what it is.”

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When it comes to discussions with management, Miller has openly admitted that contract negotiations have not been to his liking so far. But he, too, was quick to give the new Vancouver main office some slack, given the short time since his hiring.

“We don’t really find happy ground there. Many things are happening. With Patrik and Jim, they haven’t been here long. They have a lot of tough decisions to make, and then they had the draft right away and then free agency. It’s been crazy,” Miller said.

While the future is a bit murky for Miller, it’s clearer for some of his younger teammates. When asked about Elias Pettersson’s midseason turnaround, Miller mentioned the change in coach and how he felt like a reset button for the entire team, including Pettersson.

“I think the change of coach and the change of environment was good for a lot of players,” Miller said. “Travis [Green] was great for our group, but I think the new beginning really seemed to light a spark for Petey, especially since once Bruce [Boudreau] Got there, it was so good. He’s such an important part of our team, when he plays with that fire and really competes, he’s the best player on the ice every time, and I think he knows it.”

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Miller also discussed the working relationship between him and Pettersson when they share a line, since they are both natural centers. Miller credited Pettersson for his ability to adapt on occasions when a player moves to the sideline.

“When we played together, even for the first two years, he was the center, but I took all the matchups. Not much has changed, to be honest, and we both have a good understanding of how to play each other. Obviously, he probably has less experience playing wing than I do, but he’s so talented and skilled that he can pick it up at any time,” Miller said.

“As we saw last year, the second half of the year was almost unstoppable. He is a really good player and definitely a guy you want on your side with so much skill.”

A teammate who received much praise from Miller was Vasily Podkolzin. Podkolzin’s rookie season might have flown under the radar compared to some of his freshman teammates, but Miller and the rest of his Canucks teammates surely took notice.

“He has unlimited potential. It’s crazy. He may be the most powerful skater on the ice, have the most powerful shot on the ice, a very humble young man. he he wants to learn, [he’s the] First in, last out at the age of 21. He is physically compromised, he already has the build of a man. I mean, the sky is the limit,” Miller said.

“The most important thing is the language barrier, but he has learned a lot and how much he has learned this last year. I sit next to him in the room and I’m constantly tearing him apart. He’s just a great guy, and no guy doesn’t like to be around him. Just a little more opportunity, a little more understanding of small ice and I think just being a little closer to the English language, this guy is going to be an amazing player. I don’t know what the top end is, but I think it’s really high.”

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When asked by Scott about the importance of overcoming the language barrier, Miller discussed the communication aspects of the sport.

“There’s so much communication from game to game, and if you’re not communicating in general, let alone speaking another language, I think it can take a step back and make you think a little more. I think it’s all of that, just playing faster and being one step ahead.”

“There are a lot of things that he learned and you can see him pick them up as the year went on. He has become much more comfortable and is going to be scary. He can score goals however he wants, and he’s a fantastic kid.”

Despite all the noise that has been surrounding him and the Canucks for the past two seasons, Miller has high hopes for the future of the franchise. Miller had no problem promoting his team to Scott, who would later refer to them as a Cup contender.

“We have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, one of the best defenders in the world and some of the best young forwards. We have all the pieces,” Miller said.

“We hope to be playing in April, May and June. We have a high standard for ourselves, and I think it’s going to click. I think there are a lot of really good young players who are transferring to their second, third or fourth year and they’re growing and maturing, and I think that’s going to be a dangerous thing for other teams.”

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you can catch Miller’s entire 45 minute interview with Scott here.

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