BostonBruins.com — Like the rest of the Bruins, Kevan Miller was frustrated following the 2015-16 season.
He’ll get a chance to help the Black & Gold bounce back in 2016-17.
On Tuesday afternoon, the defenseman was signed to a four-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season.
“Obviously it’s a very exciting day for me and my family,” said Miller. “It’s a huge opportunity — I’m very blessed for that, and I obviously want to say thank you to the Jacobs family, Cam Neely and Don Sweeney. It’s a tremendous opportunity and I’m really happy to be in Boston.”
Miller is entering his fourth season in Boston. In 2015-16, he competed in a career-high 71 games and established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team at plus-15 and dropped the gloves on three occasions.
“I’d like to also say thank you to my family, my friends — they’ve all helped me get to this point,” Miller said. “Boston is a great city to play in and we have the best fans in the NHL, so I’m very thankful to them as well. I love playing here; it’s an honor to put that jersey on before every game.”
Miller was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. His contract is worth an NHL cap figure of $2.5 million per year.
“It was a kind of a no-brainer for me. I wanted to come back to Boston,” said the 28-year-old. “They had expressed interest that they wanted me back and like I said, it was a bit of a no-brainer for me. I’m extremely happy to be coming back and the process was very smooth.”
He has enjoyed being in Boston, both on and off the ice.
“It’s a great city,” boasted Miller. “It’s a great organization to play for, and it’s the team that I started with, and I believe we have some unfinished business and that we want to get back into being successful and making the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup.”
The blueliner has developed in the Bruins system since first being signed as a free agent out of the University of Vermont in 2011.
He has played in 159 NHL games with Boston, in addition to 11 postseason contests. He made his NHL debut in 2013, after two full seasons in Providence. From 2010-13, he played in 154 AHL games as a P-Bruin.
Miller played in his 100th NHL game on Nov. 5, 2015 against Washington.
“It’s a pretty cool thing to sign with the team that I basically started my career with,” said Miller. “It’s been a long journey and an exciting one, and a little bit has been chronicled — if you will — through Behind The B and my family and what not, so it’s a great feeling and I’m looking to continue to develop.”
The team’s all-access, behind-the-scenes TV show has followed Miller through the years, showcasing moments like his first NHL game or the front office’s reaction to the 6’2”, 210-pound defenseman’s pounding hits, like the massive one he landed on the LA Kings’ Dustin Brown before he re-upped with the team in 2014.
“I feel my style of play fits in well here,” Miller said on a media conference call Tuesday. “I’m really looking forward to helping this team get back to the playoffs and reach our ultimate goal and win a Stanley Cup.”
Miller’s work off the ice has been well-documented. He keeps himself in impeccable shape, and is looking forward to putting in the work in the offseason.
“You can always improve your game and get better,” he said. “The game’s changing and definitely getting faster, so there are things that I’m planning on working on over the summer and being ready to go for next season.”