JT Miller Reportedly Traded to Canucks; Lightning Likely to Receive Draft Picks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 27:   J.T. Miller #10 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in action during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 27, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Lightning 7-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning are trading veteran forward J.T. Miller to the Vancouver Canucks, the Canucks announced Saturday.

Tampa Bay will receive goaltender Marek Mazanec, a 2019 third-round pick and a conditional 2020 selection. The Lightning confirmed the 2020 pick is a first-rounder that will be unconditional in 2021 if the Canucks make the playoffs in the upcoming season. 

The Lightning are clearly trying to create more salary cap space this offseason. Tampa Bay had just under $5.9 million to spend before shedding Miller's deal.

From Vancouver's perspective, the Canucks are doing more than facilitating a salary dump. Miller finished with 13 goals and 34 assists in 2018-19 and has generally been consistent throughout his NHL career. He posted 43, 56 and 58 points in the previous three seasons—making 82 appearances each year as well.

Ryan Biech @ryanbiech

According to @TSNBobMcKenzie - #Canucks might be acquiring JT Miller. Depends on the return but he does good things https://t.co/aZfUSkoEvx

Having said that, the trade looked a little worse for the Canucks when the full terms were revealed.

Michael Traikos @Michael_Traikos

The fact that the Canucks gave up a first-rounder for JT Miller, who has a high cap hit and doesn't produce much offensively (13 goals last season; never scored 30 goals) seems a bit odd.

Dimitri Filipovic @DimFilipovic

The condition on that 1st round pick in the JT Miller trade may as well be 'if the Canucks don't make the playoffs in 2019-20 I'm probably out of a job anyway so who cares'

Miller provides some much-needed help for the trio of Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser. Boeser was third on the team in points (56), with a big gap between him and Alexander Edler (34 points) in fourth.

But giving up a conditional first-rounder is extremely risky for a team that hasn't reached the postseason since 2014-15.