After a long road back to recovery, Kevan Miller has taken a major step back towards playing in the NHL again and also once again patrolling the blue line for the Boston Bruins, the only NHL team he’s ever played for.
Boston Hockey Now has confirmed that the Boston Bruins have re-signed Miller to a one-year, bonus-laden contract worth $1 million that could max out at $2 million should Miller reach each bonus. Here’s the breakdown on the new deal for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound rugged defenseman who will turn 33 on November 15:
Here's the detes on Kevan Miller 1-yr deal with #NHLBruins
1 million base salary
250K roster bonus day 1
250K 10 games played
125K 20 games played
100K 30 games played
75K 40 games played
200K – making the playoffs
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) October 9, 2020
Miller hasn’t played a game since April 4, 2019, when he broke his right kneecap for what would be the first of three times between then and this past June. Miller shattered the same kneecap again during rehab as he tried to return to the lineup during the 2019 Eastern Conference Final that the Boston Bruins swept over the Carolina Hurricanes, en route to the Stanley Cup Final. He finished that season with seven assists, 73 hits, and 79 blocked shots in 39 games. Kevan Miller would miss the entire 2019-20 regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the NHL bubble and actually had his second knee surgery in less than a year this past May.
Miller never gave up hope though and his efforts led to the Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association nominating him for the 2020 Masterton Trophy given to the NHL player that best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
“I truly appreciate the nomination,” Miller told PHWA Boston rep, Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston, back on June 9. “It’s been quite the journey to get healthy and I’m hoping to persevere and live up to that nomination.”
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has consistently expressed optimism that Miller could get healthy again and potentially return to the Bruins this offseason.
“I have optimism that Kevan will do everything possible to be healthy in order to play. He has the desire to continue to play,” Sweeney said back on September 11. “He’s had a very painful injury that is taking much longer than any of us had hoped and Kevan had hoped. But he’s worked incredibly hard and I know he’ll continue to do that to give himself the opportunity to play in the NHL again. I haven’t explored whether that’s with us until this point.
We’ve engaged where his health is at both mentally and physically in the upcoming days and weeks and in the upcoming days and weeks we will reach out and find out where he is at and where he fits in. We have depth and we have numbers that we have to piece together and if we have to move players out to bring him back. It’s something we have to explore. We think the word of him, we missed him the last couple of years certainly in the playoff environment and what he brings to the table. He’s a tremendous competitor, tremendous person and we wish him nothing but health and the opportunity to play again.”
Just eleven days after that, Miller’s agent posted a video of Miller working out without pain and stating that he was ‘Ready To Go’. Clearly, the Boston Bruins believe that now too and Miller will be back for his sixth season with th Bruins.
Kevan Miller is ready to go! pic.twitter.com/ohrCcN52MR
— Peter Fish (@peterfish35) September 22, 2020