Oft-injured Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller hasn’t played in an NHL game in more than a year and has already been ruled out by the B’s for a return if the 2019-20 NHL season gets going again over the next few months.
The 32-year-old Miller’s NHL career continues to be in question as well after he revealed on Thursday that he underwent another surgery on his troublesome knee a couple of months ago. Miller was on and off the ice skating on his own when the regular season was ongoing this season, but he never made it to the point where he was able to even practice with the Bruins this season.
Without even playing a game, he’s had a couple of setbacks and procedures over the last six months that really put his NHL future in serious doubt as he moves into his mid-30s.
“As far as hockey and rehab goes, I’m still rehabbing. I was on a good trajectory and skating, and then I had a setback that I think [Don Sweeney] has talked about,” said Miller, during a virtual town hall with Bruins season ticket holders on Thursday afternoon. “I’m just coming off a surgery I had about eight weeks ago, so the timing has been good for me. I’m off the crutches and walking around again.
“Most of my rehab has been in Boston, so I’ve been here since [going into quarantine]. I’ve been having the rehab mostly at home, so I’ve become accustomed to having all the [workout] things at home. I’m feeling good now and back on the train to getting my knee healthy again.”
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Bruins GM Don Sweeney said a couple of weeks ago the Bruins would chat with Miller – at the end of his current contract -- about a possible return to Boston next season, but it’s a crowded back end with Connor Clifton and Jeremy Lauzon both on guaranteed contracts for next year. They both play the same kind of physical, bottom-pairing role that Miller has served through most of his career with the Black and Gold, with Lauzon comparing pretty favorably to Miller in terms of size, strength and intimidating physicality along with a touch of nastiness to his game.
Miller fractured his kneecap a couple of times at the end of the 2018-19 season for the Bruins and suffered a tough re-injury setback during the Stanley Cup Final run while pushing to make it back to play in the postseason for the Black and Gold.