Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers had become "convinced" that many of JT Miller's issues were not related to coaching/Alain Vigneault and became "concerned" his work ethic and off-ice prep had "regressed." (NY Post)
Miller, an RFA with arbitration rights, was unlikely to get a long-term deal from the Rangers that would have bought out some of his UFA years. (NY Post)
Miller can be a UFA after next season.
Jeff Gorton said that Tampa Bay had been interested in Miller for some time, a decision was going to have to be made on his future and they felt comfortable including him in the deal based upon what they were getting back.
Adam Rotter: It wasn't long ago that I viewed Miller as nearly untouchable and a big part of the next phase of the Rangers. The disappointing thing with Miller was that this was the first year where you couldn't see real progression in his game. He had taken noticeable steps in each of the previous years and the next step for this season was to fully solidify a spot in the Rangers top-six and become a leader/consistent offensive performer. For whatever reason, going back and forth to center and wing, how the team was performing, or something else, Miller didn't take that next step and was far less noticeable on the ice.
The Rangers took a big risk in moving Miller. He's a former first round pick, has a ton of talent and despite the amount of games he has played, he's still fairly young. That said, the Rangers know Miller better than anyone, have been watching him since before he was 18 and with a very close eye since he was drafted. They know they are taking a risk but they did what they thought was best for the team and we will just have to see how it all plays out.