Mike Halford

Tampa Bay Lightning's Valtteri Filppula (51) and Boston Bruins' Colin Miller (48) battle for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Lightning won 6-3. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Report: B’s re-sign Colin Miller, Joe Morrow


Colin Miller will be sticking around Boston for the foreseeable future — on Wednesday, the B’s signed him to a two-year, $2 million extension with a $1M average annual cap hit, per TVA.

Miller, 23, made his NHL debut last season, appearing in 42 games all told. He showed some decent offensive upside, with 16 points, while averaging just under 16 minutes per night.

A former fifth-round pick of Los Angeles, Miller was part of the deal that saw he and Martin Jones go to Boston in exchange for Milan Lucic. While he’s always been a talented offensive defenseman, there are concerns about Miller’s defensive awareness.

In related news, it sounds like Boston has also agreed with another young defenseman, Joe Morrow.

Per General Fanager, Morrow is back on a one-year deal worth $800,000. A former first-round pick, Morrow had his most extensive NHL experience last year, scoring seven points in 33 games for the B’s. Like Miller, Morrow is also 23 and like Miller, he’s yet to really establish himself at the big league level.

With these two inked, Boston now has seven d-men under contract for next season: Miller, Morrow, Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and John Michael-Liles.

GM Don Sweeney bought out Dennis Seidenberg last month, which should free up some minutes for Miller and Morrow to battle over, though that can’t be considered a successful offseason. Sweeney has been outspoken about trying to upgrade the blueline but, as of now, he’s got a near identical group to the one that finished last season.

Related: The Bruins still haven’t added that ‘transitional’ defenseman they wanted

Canucks re-sign Bachman, a goalie to expose in expansion draft

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 10: Goalie Richard Bachman #32 of the Vancouver Canucks makes a save during the pre-game warm up prior to the start of NHL action against the Calgary Flames on October 10, 2015 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
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Vancouver inked journeyman third-stringer Richard Bachman to a one-year extension on Wednesday, locking up the veteran through 2018.

On its own, the signing isn’t huge news.

Bachman, 28, has bounced around over the last few years, appearing in 32 games with the Stars, Oilers and Canucks. He’s spent most of his time in the AHL, and that looks to continue next season with Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom manning Vancouver’s net.

That said, the Bachman signing does have significance for the Canucks.

From The Province:

Under the NHL’s expansion draft rules, every team is required to have two forwards, one defenceman and one goalie available for selection.

Last week, the team signed Jacob Markstrom to a three-year extension, leaving him and the draft-exempt Thatcher Demko as the only goalies under contract heading into 2017-18.

As things stood, Markstrom would have had to be exposed for the draft which will stock the new Las Vegas squad.

So Bachman, who had one year left on his current contract, will fill the “you’re getting exposed” role, though that won’t be only thing he does. He played quite a bit for AHL Utica last season — 35 games — and will probably do the same this year while mentoring Demko.

The real question now is, who backs up Markstrom after next season? Miller is a pending UFA, Bachman has never proven to be a reliable No. 2 and it would be asking a lot of Demko to make the leap after just one year of pro hockey.

Blues re-sign AHL sniper Rattie — one year, $650,000

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Ty Rattie #61 of the St. Louis Blues warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche during their preseason game at Pepsi Center on September 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Ty Rattie showed well in the most extensive NHL action of his career last season, and the Blues have rewarded him accordingly.

On Wednesday, Rattie signed a one-year deal worth $650,000 — down from the $894,166 AAV he had on his last deal, but fully guaranteed because St. Louis signed him to a one-way contract.

Rattie, 23, had four goals and six points in just 13 games last year, spending most of his time in AHL Chicago. And it’s with Chicago where Rattie’s really made a name for himself, scoring 31, 21 and 17 goals over the last three campaigns.

The 32nd overall pick at the 2011 draft, Rattie looks as though he’s in line for a much more significant role with the Blues next season. Gone are the likes of veterans David Backes, Troy Brouwer and Steve Ott, which should open up more opportunities at forward.

St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong was also quiet in free agency, though he did bring back winger David Perron.

Welcome back: Bolts sign Cory Conacher

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 07:  Cory Conacher #89 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in action against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 7, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Lightning 4-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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What’s old is new again in Tampa Bay.

Cory Conacher, who burst onto the scene with the Bolts four years ago as a rookie, has signed back on with the club on a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Back in 2013, Conacher parlayed a strong AHL showing — including winning the ’11-12 MVP — into a banner first year with the Lightning, scoring 24 points in 35 games to finish sixth in Calder voting.

That led to one of Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman’s savviest trades — sending Conacher to Ottawa for Ben Bishop — but marked the beginning of a wild and often disappointing ride for Conacher.

He appeared in just 72 games for Ottawa over two years, only to get waived. Buffalo claimed him, but wasn’t impressed enough to offer Conacher a qualifying offer at season’s end.

That made the diminutive forward a UFA. Conacher then proceeded to sign with the Isles, who only played him 15 times before putting him on waivers.

Nobody claimed Conacher that time around, so he was dispatched to AHL Bridgeport, then traded to the Canucks and immediately dispatched to AHL Utica.

Last year, the 26-year-old signed overseas with Bern of the Swiss League, and starred. He had 52 points in 48 games, and helped Team Canada win the 2015 Spengler Cup.

It’s unclear how much playing time Conacher will get with Tampa Bay next season. He does have a significant history with Jon Cooper — Cooper was Conacher’s coach during the aforementioned AHL MVP year, and the two won the Calder Cup together — and the one-way deal will ensure Conacher makes $575,000 regardless if he’s with the Bolts, or the Syracuse Crunch.

Rangers, Miller avoid arbitration with two-year deal

New York Rangers center J.T. Miller celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game against the New Jersey Devils during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 3-2. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Rangers and 22-goal man J.T. Miller agreed to a two-year contract extension on Wednesday, the club announced.

Per CBC, it’s a $5.2 million pact with a $2.625M average annual cap hit. It’s a nice bump for Miller, who made just under $900,000 on his last deal.

The 23-year-old enjoyed something of a breakout campaign in ’15-16, appearing in all 82 games for the first time in his career, while finishing tied for third on the team in goals. Miller also added three assists in a five-game opening round loss to the Penguins in the playoffs.

This deal was important for the Blueshirts. Miller is a key piece of the club’s forward group in the future, and he’s now under contract through 2018. What’s more, it knocks one of the many things to do on GM Jeff Gorton’s list, as three other RFAs — Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath — have also filed for salary arbitration.

Miller’s heading was scheduled for Aug. 2, but that’s now moot. McIlrath is scheduled for July 21, Kreider July 22, and Hayes July 27.