That’s one of the reasons why goaltender Ryan Miller decided to head south, signing a two-year contract worth $2 million per season with the Anaheim Ducks.
Also may have missed Ryan Miller's terms earlier today: 2 year deal, $2M AAV with ANA.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2017
Miller’s wife (Hollywood actress Noureen DeWulf) and young son live in Southern California, so a move from Vancouver to Anaheim makes a lot of sense.
But it’s not the only reason for his move.
The Ducks, as a Stanley Cup contender, offer Miller a chance to win. The organization also offered the soon to be 37-year-old a two-year contract.
The rub? Miller could have perhaps earned more money than $2 million per season if he was willing to sign a one-year deal elsewhere. He’s coming off an impressive season with the Canucks, where he posted a .914 save percentage despite a dreadful team in front of him.
In the twilight of his career, he’ll make considerably less than $6 million, which was his average annual value of his contract over the past three seasons. He’ll be a mentor for John Gibson, the Ducks’ 23-year-old starting goaltender.
Without Miller, the Canucks will be weaker in net, at least in the short term. But the positive aspect of this move is that it should afford Jacob Markstrom the opportunity to prove himself as a No. 1 goalie.
Having a former Vezina Trophy winner around gave the Canucks a crutch to lean on the last three seasons, giving the young backups behind him few opportunities to thrive.
Miller’s time in Vancouver was as bizarre as you’ll see for a goaltender of his stature. He arrived as a high-priced free agent in a no-win situation, having to replace a legend (Roberto Luongo) while fending off a fan favourite (Eddie Lack).
As the team crumbled around him, Miller’s play improved during his tenure. After a sub-par .911 save percentage in 2014-15, he posted .916 and .914 save percentages over the past two seasons. Those are hardly Vezina numbers, but they were good considering the team in front of him.
Miller was the consummate professional during his time with the Canucks, giving his all despite less than ideal circumstances.