BRIGHTON -- Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller will be out “for an extended period of time,” according to general manager Don Sweeney because of an undisclosed injury suffered in last weekend’s 1-0 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the preseason finale.
Miller, 28, had previously been hobbled by a knee issue after getting hit by a puck during a preseason loss to the Canadiens. But Sweeney indicated this new injury was unrelated to that.
Clearly the loss of Miller will be mitigated by the fact that 19-year-old Brandon Carlo and 23-year-old Rob O’Gara have shown they might be ready for the NHL after impressive training camps, and both of those young players will be on the roster to at least start the season.
“We’re getting updates currently. [Adam] McQuaid is more of a short term,” said Don Sweeney. “Kevan Miller will likely be out for an extended period of time, but we’re waiting for the last medical report on him. So we’ll have some roster decisions. You saw the moves made yesterday to get down to the one small group today that will, in all likelihood, open up on Thursday night.
“Part of [improving the defense] is the development process of looking at some of our younger players that we want to integrate in. Now it comes down to the performance aspect of it. We’ve said all along the opportunity would be there if the younger players were able to step forward, and we’ve seen a couple of players that have emerged in that regard. Whether it’s injury or it’s through their good play, the coaching staff has been excited about their play. So we move forward with that.”
Miller played a career-high 71 games last season and had signed a four year, $10 million contract extension this summer with the expectation that he would be key performer for a revamped blue line group.