Canucks and Leafs fans are buzzing about a potential J.T. Miller trade

Feb 23 2022, 7:30 pm

Imagine this: J.T. Miller gets traded from the Canucks to the Maple Leafs and helps bring Toronto its first Stanley Cup since 1967.

It seems that fans in Vancouver and Toronto are imagining just that, which is drawing very different reactions, as you might imagine.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman set Twitter ablaze Tuesday night when he speculated that Canucks forward Miller could be a good fit for the Leafs.

“If (Kyle) Dubas is going to be able to use his LTI space I think that’s going to make things really interesting for him. I’m on the J.T. Miller train… for Toronto,” Friedman said during the first intermission of yesterday’s Leafs game on Sportsnet.

With new management in Vancouver looking to retool the team, Miller appears to be the Canucks’ best trade chip. Miller leads the Canucks in scoring with 53 points in 50 games and is under contract at a team-friendly $5.25 million cap hit for this season and next.

The 29-year-old is a legitimate first-line forward that can play left wing or centre. He has excelled in multiple roles on the power play during his three seasons in Vancouver and is also relied upon to kill penalties. He can play big minutes and is good at taking faceoffs too.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound forward has to be an appealing player for the Leafs, not only because of his talent but because of the rugged style of game he plays. Miller could help load up a line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, or he could give Toronto an enviable 1-2-3 punch up the middle with Matthews and John Tavares.

Friedman clarified on the Jeff Marek Show this morning that him linking Miller to Toronto was merely his opinion, though CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal is reporting that the Leafs called the Canucks on Tuesday to check the price.

“I don’t know that the Maple Leafs are going to be able to do this, but I think it’s definitely a possibility,” Friedman told Marek on Sportsnet radio this morning. “I think Miller would be perfect for them.”

Jake Muzzin, who counts $5.625 million on the salary cap, is out with a concussion. If he’s out long-term, the Leafs will be able to add Miller’s salary without a problem.

While Miller doesn’t replace Muzzin in the lineup because they play different positions, Friedman and Dhaliwal have also both reported that the Leafs are interested in another Canucks player: defenceman Luke Schenn.

Schenn, who was a Leafs first-round pick in 2008, won’t replace Muzzin either, but the right-shot blueliner is an ideal No. 6 or 7 defenceman on a contender.

Perhaps Miller and Schenn could be packaged together. The Canucks need prospects and draft picks. The Leafs still have their first- and second-round picks to offer in this June’s draft, as well as a number of young players in the system that could interest the Canucks.

Here’s a look at the very different reactions in Toronto and Vancouver, beginning with Leafs fans. The Canucks fan reaction was more entertaining though.

Meanwhile in Vancouver…

 

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