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Avs Wrap: Bo Byram return attempt seeming more likely, and are Avs really in on J.T. Miller?



J.T. Miller

An off day for the Avs today, but not for me and our crew here at Colorado Hockey Now. Let’s just do some off-the-cuff talk on the team, starting with thoughts on Bo Byram and then J.T. Miller:

  • Joe Sakic doesn’t say things publicly without it being his full, thought-out truth, and I think some underestimated when he said a few weeks back that “we’re still hoping to get him back” for this season, on the subject of Bo Byram. I’ve taken more of a “back off” approach when it comes to digging deep on his status, since he’s still technically on a personal leave from the team. I got quite a bit of flack for calling his dad right after he took the leave (though I wasn’t the only reporter to do that) and didn’t really enjoy the backlash much at all on that one. Normally, things roll of my back pretty easy when it comes to criticism, but I didn’t enjoy the perception that I was somehow invading someone’s privacy. I’m an aggressive reporter, yeah, but I don’t go digging into any player’s private life and I don’t write anything – anything – when I’m told it’s off the record. Byram’s dad went on the record with me – and I double-checked with him twice to make sure he was OK with his comments being on the record – but he later regretted it and asked me to take the story down. So that’s what I did. I don’t want any trouble, and I don’t want to feel like some a-hole who writes stuff behind their back. I don’t do that.
  • This all leads me back to writing what “I’m hearing” on Byram, which is that things have gone well since he’s resumed skating. And, that it’s looking more likely he’ll attempt to make a return before the end of the regular season. Keep in mind, though: anything could change at any minute. With concussion stuff, you just can’t make any hard and fast predictions. But things seem positive again, and when a guy like Sakic publicly says the Avs “hope” to have him back, you can’t easily dismiss the importance of that statement.
  • So, Darren Dreger of TSN said the Avs are looking into acquiring Vancouver center J.T. Miller by the March 21 deadline. Hey, if Dreger reports it, you have to take it seriously. I haven’t heard that as much with my band of sources, but maybe I’m not talking to the right ones here? J.T. Miller is having a very good season with the Canucks, with 61 points in 54 games. He’s a big, lefty centerman. He’s got a $5.25 million cap hit, with one year left on his deal beyond this season.
  • My first question on a Miller deal, though: Where would he play in this current lineup? Nazem Kadri is the second-line, left centerman, and he’s having a career season. Nathan MacKinnon is your No. 1 center. Miller is a center, but he has played some right wing before. Could he be the second-line right winger on this team for the playoffs? Sure, I guess. And, he’d be a nice replacement for Kadri as a 2C if he leaves as UFA this summer.
  • So, Miller is someone to keep an eye on moving forward, maybe even more than Claude Giroux – even though Avs assistant GM Chris MacFarland has been personally bird-dogging Giroux in Philly of late. I don’t really see why Vancouver would want to trade a guy with another year left who is having a great season, but Canucks GM Jim Rutherford has always liked to make splashy deals.
  • Miller himself, though, denounced the trade talk as “BS”, in an exclusive interview with our own Rob Simpson, and had some other sharp things to say (Vancouver Hockey Now)
  • Personally? I think the odds of Giroux coming here are much higher than J.T. Miller.
  • Here’s about a 30-minute podcast I did yesterday, talking All Things Avs with Mike Evans on 104.3 The Fan (104.3 The Fan)
  • It’s going to be a good game tomorrow night, against the Calgary Flames. Darryl Sutter has proven again what a damn good coach he is. To me, he’s a Hall of Fame coach.
  • So, you’re to the end of this little ditty and you still haven’t subscribed to my fair site? Today only – today only! – I’ll give $5 off a 12-month subscription using the promo code 5off, in the checkout box here. Price will go from $29.99 to $24.99. Playoffs are coming, Avs fan, and nobody delivers the depth and breadth of Avs content like we do.
  • He said, modestly.

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