Detroit ‘working away’ on Miller extension

Getty Images

Veteran forward and pending UFA Drew Miller said he wanted to stay in Detroit and now, it sounds like the Wings want him to stay as well.

“We’re working away, hopefully find a solution,” Detroit GM Ken Holland told MLive. “He’s a good penalty killer, he’s a good leader in the room.”

Scooped off waivers from Tampa Bay seven years ago, Miller has really flourished during his time with the Red Wings and developed his niche as a defensively responsible forward that logs prime shorthanded minutes.

He didn’t miss a single game from 2013-15, appearing in 82 contests each season while racking up 15 and 13 points, respectively. Miller, 32, was also one of the Red Wings’ best shot-blocking forwards and a staple of the penalty kill.

Last year, though, it was tough for him to flourish in that role.

Miller struggled through a nightmarish campaign in ’15-16, missing extensive time with a broken jaw and torn ACL. The result? Just 28 games played, and only two points scored — a tough situation to go through in a contract year (a three-year, $4.05 million deal that paid $1.35M annually.)

Those injuries could end up being a blessing, however.

Per MLive, Miller can sign a contract featuring games-played bonuses because he spent more than 100 days on injured reserve last year. That could provide some cap flexibility for Holland, who has a number of key financial decisions to make this summer.

“[Miller] doesn’t wear a letter but he’s well-respected by the younger players,” Holland said. “Hopefully we find a solution to keep him here for another year.”