The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/14/13 at 11:16 AM ET
Updated 13x at 6:15 PM: This hasn't been confirmed yet, but, per Pro Hockey Talk's Jason Brough, Josh Rimer's reporting that the Red Wings have signed Drew Miller to a 3-year contract extension:
That would be a fair deal given Miller's versatility as a penalty-killer, occasional top-six forward and someone who posts 15-20 points a season despite playing only 8-12 minutes per game at times, though he can play much more as necessary.
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan's confirming:
Update #3: the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness also confirms:
Drew Miller got his wish.
According to a source, the Wings have inked their penalty-kill specialist to a three-year deal worth $4.05 million to stay in Detroit.
“I would like to stay,” Miller said after the season. “I’ve got to talk to Babs and to Kenny Holland, figure out what their approach is to coming back. I don’t have much more to say other than I’d like to come back. But being in a position to have options is something that could possibly be looked at but my first choice would be to stay and come back.”
The deal with worth $1.35 million a season.
Miller, 29, got a nice little raise from the $850,000 her made last season.
“I’m a huge fan of Millsie,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Millsie’s an important part of this team. When he was out, we missed him.”
Update #4: MLive's Ansar Khan confirms in text form, too:
The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Drew Miller to a three-year contract extension worth $1.35 million per season, a source told M-Live.com.
Miller, 29, is a fourth-line energy player with strong defensive instincts and penalty-killing ability. Despite his slight build (6-foot-2, 178), he gets involved in high-traffic areas, down low and in front of the net. And he has some offensive ability, having scored 38 goals since the Red Wings claimed him off waivers from Tampa Bay on Nov. 11, 2009.
Miller had four goals, four assists and a minus-8 rating in 44 games this season. He suffered a broken right hand when hit by a shot April 20 in Vancouver. He missed the final four regular season games and first eight playoff games before returning in Game 2 of the second round against Chicago.
Miller's 2012-13 salary was $850,000.
Update #5: The Free Press's Helene St. James also confirms:
I DO NOT expect Miller's re-signing to affect the team's desire to re-sign Damien Brunner or pursue an unrestricted free agent of the Bickell/Stalberg variety.
I DON'T KNOW whether Miller's re-signing means that Daniel Cleary's done as a Wing, but I would imagine that Cleary has to take a pay cut to remain;
And I DO know that Miller's re-signing will not bump Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson or Tomas Tatar from the lineup, but it may mean that Mikael Samuelsson will be bought out, and it does place Patrick Eaves and Cory Emmerton's futures with the team in danger.
Drew Miller and the Red Wings reportedly have reached an agreement on a new three-year contract, avoiding free agency for the veteran forward.
Miller, 29, earned $837,500 in 2012-13, when he had four goals and four assists in 44 games.
The former Michigan State player and East Lansing native is a valuable penalty killer and fourth-line grinder.
Update #7: Here's the Free Press's St. James' report in text format:
Drew Miller's versatility made him too good to let go, even as the Detroit Red Wings have an overflow up front.
Miller agreed to a three-year deal worth $4.05 million today, three weeks before he could have hit the market as an unrestricted free agent.
Miller, 29, had four goals among eight points in 44 games this past season, lost late to a broken thumb. He returned to make six appearances in the playoffs, in which he had a goal and one assist.
Miller mostly is a bottom-six forward, playing left wing on the third or fourth line, but his quick feet have led to more than a few shifts on a top line when needed. He's also crucial to the penalty kill.
The Wings first acquired Miller, a former Spartan, off waivers from Tampa Bay in November 2009. This is the third time he has been re-signed.
Update #8: Via RedWingsFeed, WXYZ is mostly confirming...
According to reports, the Detroit Red Wings have signed Drew Miller to a new three-year extension on Friday. The new deal is worth $1.35 million per season.
Miller, 29, earned $850,000 last season in which he scored four goals and four assists in 44 games before suffering a broken thumb late in the season. The former Michigan State player and East Lansing native serves a valuable role on the penalty kill.
The Wings acquired Miller back in 2009 off waivers from Tampa Bay and have kept him in a Red Wings sweater ever since.
And here's a little more from St. James:
Miller puts the Wings at 12 forwards under contract for the coming season, a number that will grow by two when restricted free agent forwards Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson are signed. Miller was one of four forwards headed toward UFA status, and the Wings very much want to sign two of the three left: Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner. Valtteri Filppula is expected to sign elsewhere for more money.
It's not uncommon for teams to have excess players on rosters during the off-season — and even coming into training camp. As it stands right now, the Wings don't know whether Darren Helm will be back — a back injury dating to January has confounded treatment. Mikael Samuelsson is still dealing with a pectoral injury, one of many he had last season. And then there's Cory Emmerton, who is under contract but who is a bubble player because of the push of incoming players like Andersson, Nyquist and Tomas Tatar.
Update #9: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's confirming and adds quotes from Miller's agent, former Wings defenseman Jason Woolley:
The Red Wings signed forward Drew Miller, a potential unrestricted free agent, to a three-year contract according to Miller’s agent, Jason Woolley.
The deal is worth $4.05 million.
Woolley, a longtime former NHL player and former Red Wing, said Miller and the Red Wings are a good fit.
“From day one Drew and I always talked about building the Drew Miller brand,” Woolley said. “Build consistency within your game and be in an environment where you can play your best and be the most efficient. That’s the key to a long career, which I was able to have also. Don’t be greedy.
“Babs (coach Mike Babcock) is a big fan of Drew’s and knows how to play him and Kenny (general manager Ken Holland) is a big fan of his. Drew is close to home and loves the organization, and how can you not? We didn’t see any reason to change his path.”
"It feels great," Miller told the Free Press. "I'm excited, my wife is excited, my family is excited. This is where I wanted to be. It's a great organization, great coaching staff, great bunch of guys. We have a lot of talent in the locker room, and I believe we'll be a very good team next year.”
The $4.05-million deal has an annual salary cap hit of $1.35 million.
"I know we have a lot of people on the roster, but at the same time, they wouldn't have been talking to me unless they wanted me to play a role on the team," Miller said. "The three-year deal shows me that they want me. I know nothing is guaranteed in pro sports, but in my time here, I've learned you earn your spot. I know my role and my spot. I want to work hard and get better and help the team more."
Update #12: Here's the AP's Larry Lage's Miller story with quotes:
Drew Miller really didn't want to leave the Detroit Red Wings to find out what he was worth on the market. Fortunately for him, the Red Wings wanted the defensive-minded, penalty-killing forward back. Miller confirmed Friday he has agreed to a three-year, $4.05 million contract to stay in Detroit.
"I'm really happy the deal got done,'' he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I wanted to stay because I feel like I've become one of the key parts of the team.''
Detroit claimed Miller off waivers on Nov. 11, 2009, after he played 14 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He signed one- and two-year deals in 2010 and 2011 to remain with the Red Wings, and was thrilled they wanted him back with a longer-term contract.
"It's great to have that security,'' he said. "It won't change how hard I work, but it's just nice to know you're wanted for the next three years.''
Update #13: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke to Miller about signing his new contract...
“My first choice was to stay in Detroit and not test out the market,” Miller said. “I’m really thrilled I was able to start talking right away and get something done. It’s ideal to get a longer contract. It shows they have faith in me. I’m excited about it.”
A stellar penalty killer for the Wings this season, the 29-year-old left-winger produced 4-4-8 totals in 44 games, but it was his work when the other team had possession of the puck that made Miller such a valuable performer
“They picked me off waivers (from Tampa Bay in 2009) and gave me a role as a defensive player and a penalty killer who can move around to different lines,” Miller said of Detroit. “They put confidence in me from the start. I’m confident in my game, that I can play a role that is useful to the team on a nightly basis.”
“It’s first class, they treat us well,” Miller said of playing for the Wings. “The biggest thing is the opportunity to win every year.
“The biggest factor was the team, staying with the Red Wings, a good organization. The (22-season) playoff streak is great. When you’re on the Red Wings, you know you’re going to be competing for the Stanley Cup every year. We have a good group of guys. Everyone in that locker room wants to win. Everybody plays for each other.”
As did the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
"The three years gives you a little bit of stability,” said Miller, who’ll make $1.35 million a season. “They won’t give you a three-year deal if they didn’t want you for that long. It feels good to get the three years, but at the same time this is pro sports you have to work hard to earn your spot every day. I’ll take the same approach I always have, the three years shows that they want you, but at the same time you need to work hard to keep it and earn something.”
“I would have gone to free agency had I had to, but I wanted to talk to Detroit first and try and get something done with them,” Miller continued. “They were my first choice. This is where I wanted to stay.”
“I think the last time I was in a way different spot,” Miller said. “This year with the lockout, it wasn’t a whole year, but having that much more experience has been great for me and it shows that the Red Wings have confidence in me. I’ve grown over the last two years.”
“The team is really coming into its own right now especially with the way things finished with year,” Miller said. “Losing to Chicago was heartbreaking, but at the same time it showed everyone around the league and especially in our locker room that we have the ability to be a good team.”
Miller was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 11, 2009.
“I think I found a role that I can play here and they count on me to do that night in, night out,” Miller said. “I’m taking some time off now and will start working out soon. I’m doing all that relaxing kind of stuff that Michigan summers allow you to do.”
And MLive's Ansar Khan:
“It’s a place I didn’t want to leave,'' Miller said. “My first choice was to stay with the Red Wings and not go to free agency. I'm really thrilled I was able to start talking right away and get something done. It shows they have faith in me. I'm excited about it.''
Miller's new deal has a salary-cap hit of $1.35 million.
“They won’t give you a three-year deal if they didn’t want you for that long,'' Miller said. “It feels good to get the three years, but at the same time this is pro sports, you have to work hard to earn your spot every day. I’ll take the same approach I always have.''
The club has 20 players signed for 2013-14 for approximately $54.7 million (the salary cap is $64.3 million). That includes players who either are on a one-way contract or, in the case of Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar, have a two-way deal but are expected to make the roster.
Four more spots will be taken by restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith.
That would put the Red Wings one over the 23-man limit, and they are still hoping to sign unrestricted free-agent forwards Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner. Plus, they would like to add a player through free agency, which begins on July 5.
It does not appear as if forward Valtteri Filppula will be re-signed. His contract demands were too high and he struggled this season.
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