Tough news for Miller to stomach
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
With the news that Aaron Miller will undergo abdominal surgery on the eve of the Vancouver Canucks training camp, Canucks fans will have to hope this doesn’t point to a recurring pattern. Ditto for GM Dave Nonis, who signed Miller to a one-year, $1.5 million deal on July 9, and, naturally, Miller himself.
The veteran stay-at-home blueliner, who’s expected to be out for two weeks, has been hampered by injuries throughout his career. Last season with Los Angeles marked the first time Miller’s ever played a full 82-game slate. In fact, since he became an NHL regular in 1996-97 with Colorado, the 36-year-old Buffalo product has appeared in less than 70 games in seven out of 10 seasons.
Miller previously had abdominal surgery in 2002 with the Kings. (That’s been a particularly injury-prone franchise in recent years, setting an NHL record of 634 man-games lost in 2003-04.) Some of his other woes have included a fractured wrist, a broken left foot, and hip surgery to take out a bone spur and repair a torn labrum, the latter after he’d played just 35 games in 2005-06 due to a sore back.
Miller is slated to partner Lukas Krajicek on Vancouver’s third defensive pairing. His role will be to provide a steadying influence, quite unlike Vancouver’s former offensive sparkplug from the blueline, Ed Jovanovski.
However, it’s worth noting Jovanovski has missed 49 games in the last two seasons due to separate abdominal surgeries. This can be a troublesome, ongoing thing, because playing hockey demands a lot from those core muscles.
Hopefully Miller, a 2002 Olympian like Jovanovski, won’t rush back into pre-season action unless he’s confident he won’t re-aggravate the affected area prior to the real games.