The Bruins are desperately in the market for some defenseman this offseason following the departures of both Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara last year. Things aren't looking better for the B's blue line and Kevan Miller has announced his retirement from the NHL after a multitude of injuries have sidelined him for significant time over the course of the last three seasons. Miller broke his knee cap back in 2019, which caused him to miss the entire 2019-2020 NHL Season. Miller signed a one-year deal with the Bruins back in October of 2020. Miller has been limited to just 67 games between 2018 and 2021. Injuries was the ultimate down fall for Miller's career. A prolific, hard hitting, enforcing type of defenseman, Miller did everything he did to give his team a spark, that was his style of play. He would also go after the opponents enforcer and would give any one face wash if they got too close to his goaltender. Miller would be the first in a scrap, last one out of it, and some ended with him beating the living daylights out someone. Not to the extent of what Mike Millbury did many years ago but you get the picture.
After both Krug and Chara left the Bruins, it meant that it was time for Miller to finally take over the reigns of a shut down defenseman. He was more than capable of being that kind of guy for the Bruins, unfortunately his body couldn't keep up with the added work load. Miller was ready for the challenge to shut down the opponents star players in the defensive zone, and he did just that; when he was healthy and on the ice.
We all know that hockey players are tough and will play through injuries and we all know if Miller could've played through the injuries that plagued him for much of the past three seasons, you better believe he would've. We've seen it before, Chara finished out the 2019 Stanley Cup Final after taking a puck to the face which ended up breaking his jaw. Who could forget about Gregory Campbell back in the East Final in 2013 when he not only took a shot off of his leg, got him (gingerly), grabbed his stick and played defense on one leg to help the Bruins kill off a penally before finally skating off the ice on his own before getting help to the locker room. If Miller's body was able to do that for him, you bet your next paycheck that he would've.
Miller made the post via his instagram as he wrote: "Although my spirit for the game is there, unfortunately my body isn't. My overall health and my family are now my priority. This was not an easy decision to make but it's time to hang up the skates." Miller added on by saying "it's hard to put into words what it means to wear the Spoked B; it was an honor to put that jersey on each night."
There are some options for the Bruins to target in free agency to replace Miller's presence, but his grit and enforcer like play style is something that the B's are truly going to miss and will find that it will be extremely difficult to replace.