The New York Rangers are presented with an interesting situation when it comes to J.T. Miller. The team has four more games to look at him, any more than five NHL games and the Rangers automatically burn a year off his ELC no matter what happens.
Miller looked really good in his NHL debut. Like, really, really good. We talked about it a little yesterday in one of the threads, but he simply looked poised and calm out there. He never panicked, was smooth with the puck and made things happen. He went to the tough areas of the ice, made a few crisp passes and took a couple of shots to boot.
He was involved. That might be the best way to put it.
The rest of the team? As a whole, not so much, which promoted John Tortorella to admit that some "tentative" veterans were in danger of losing their spots to young players like Miller and Chris Kreider. Tortorella gushed about Miller after the game. Miller himself seemed pleased telling the media he didn't see any reason why he shouldn't stay with the big club.
Which brings us to the problem: Are the Rangers willing to risk burning off a year of his ELC. The Rangers are going to have a plethora of contract negotiations over the next two years, do they want Miller to become another one of those players? Or do they want to make sure they have Miller on his ELC in three years when they might need some wiggle room?
It's a tough question. Despite the fact that the Rangers have stumbled out of the gate to a 4-5 start, the team is too talented to assume they can't pull it together sooner rather than later. Miller was a spark on Tuesday, there's no way around it. He made things happen and showed some chemistry with Kreider.
Is it enough to keep him up? Well, it's still a little too soon to tell. How he plays tonight against the Islanders will determine a lot too.
But what do you guys think? Is he worth the risk?