Ryan Miller

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller skating 2011-10-15.JPG
Born(1980-07-17) July 17, 1980 (age 32)
East Lansing, MI, USA
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)
PositionGoaltender
CatchesLeft
NHL teamBuffalo Sabres
National team United States
NHL Draft138th overall, 1999
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career2002–present
 
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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller skating 2011-10-15.JPG
Born(1980-07-17) July 17, 1980 (age 32)
East Lansing, MI, USA
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)
PositionGoaltender
CatchesLeft
NHL teamBuffalo Sabres
National team United States
NHL Draft138th overall, 1999
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career2002–present

Ryan Miller (born July 17, 1980) is an American ice hockey goaltender who plays for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected to play for the U.S. hockey team in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, as starting goaltender.[1] He won a silver medal with the team and was named MVP of the tournament. Later in 2010, he would win the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender in the 2009–10 NHL season.

He was drafted 138th overall by the Sabres in the 1999 NHL Draft. He is known for his hybrid style of goaltending. He is also the older brother of current Detroit Red Wings winger Drew Miller.

Contents

Early life[edit]

Miller grew up in East Lansing, Michigan. In youth hockey, Miller originally played as a forward. However Miller became frustrated with the poor play of his team's goalie, so he begged his coach as well as his father, Dean Miller, to let him try it out. His father told him that if he could get two goals and three assists the next game he would buy Ryan a catching glove. Miller finished the game with two goals and three assists in the win.[2] His brother Drew Miller is currently a forward for the Red Wings and three cousins (Kelly Miller, Kip Miller and Kevin Miller) all played in the NHL. All five attended Michigan State University.[3]

Playing career[edit]

College[edit]

As a college player for the Michigan State University Spartans, Miller set an NCAA record with 26 career shutouts and was the winner of the Hobey Baker Award in 2001, when he led the country in wins, winning percentage, save percentage (an NCAA record .950 mark), goals-against average and shutouts (an NCAA record 10).

Miller played outdoors in the Cold War – a game between Michigan and Michigan State held in 2001. Miller was the 2001 Big Ten-Jesse Owens Men's Athlete of the Year.

Miller became only the second Spartan in history to win the Hobey Baker Award and only the second goaltender (Robb Stauber won it in 1988). He was the CCHA's Goaltender of the Year all three of his seasons in East Lansing, and was the league's overall MVP twice. Ten members of Miller's family, including his grandfather, father, uncle, five cousins (including Kelly, Kevin and Kip Miller), and his younger brother Drew, have played college hockey for the Spartans. His cousin Kip Miller won the Hobey Baker in 1990. Miller was a close friend of Buffalo Bills fullback and fellow MSU alumnus Jehuu Caulcrick.[4]

Buffalo Sabres[edit]

Miller with the Rochester Americans in 2005

After three seasons with Michigan State, Miller moved to the American Hockey League, where he played for the Sabres affiliate the Rochester Americans from the 2002–03 season until the 2004–05 season. During the 2002–03 season he played 15 regular season games for Buffalo. In the 2004–05 season, He won 41 games for the Americans, tying Gerry Cheevers' record. He finished that season with a 2.45 GAA.

In 2004–05, the Americans were the North Division and Regular Season champions in the American Hockey League. They lost in the division finals against a powerful Manitoba team

Miller finished the 2005–06 season by establishing himself as the starting goalie for the Sabres. He ranked 11th among NHL goalies with a 2.60 GAA, and 9th with a save percentage of .914. Miller led the Sabres to a surprise season, winning 30 games and advancing to the conference finals.

After the 2005–06 season, Miller became a restricted free agent and waived his right to arbitration. Mike Liut, Miller's agent, continued to negotiate with the Sabres through the summer. On September 8, 2006, the Sabres announced that they had re-signed Miller to a three-year contract.

The 2006–07 season would prove a successful one. In his first season starting with the number one job, Miller and his team won the first 10 games in a row. Miller was voted the starting goaltender for the Eastern Conference of the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. In a 12–9 loss, Miller played the first period and allowed three goals. Miller also gained a reputation of a shootout specialist with his technique of challenging the shooter outside the crease. That season he was 10–4 in shootouts, with Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils being his closest rival at 10 wins and 6 losses. In 63 games played that season, Miller posted a 0.911 SVP and a 2.72 GAA backing a more offensively oriented team.

In the post-season of that year, the Sabres advanced to their second conference finals in as many years, losing to the Ottawa Senators in five games. Miller posted a .922 SVP and 2.22 GAA in the playoffs.

On October 11, the Sabres won their second home game of the 2007–08 season with a 6–0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. Miller had the shutout stopping 20 shots in a game following the death of his 18-year-old cousin, Matt, who had died the Monday before of a complication with a bone-marrow transplant. At the close of the game, Miller raised his stick to the home crowd in tribute and received star honors for his effort in net.

Miller's current helmet design has the words "Matt Man" on the back in remembrance.

Miller with the Sabres in 2010.

On January 1, 2008, Miller played with the Sabres in the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic, which was the first outdoor NHL game to be held in the United States. The game was played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home to the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, New York. The Sabres lost in a shoot-out to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Miller only allowed one goal (out of 25 shots) in regulation. On March 28, 2008, Miller played in his 73rd game of the season, breaking the Sabres franchise record for most games played in a season, passing Grant Fuhr, Dominik Hašek and Martin Biron. Miller finished the season with 76 games played, recording a 2.64 GAA and a .906 SVP.

On July 18, 2008, Miller signed a five-year contract extension worth $31.25 million[5] with the Sabres. The contract took effect at the start of the 2009–10 season. Miller suffered a high-end ankle sprain on February 22, 2009, in a game against the New York Rangers, which kept him out of action until late March. Despite Miller's strong 34–18–6 record during the 2008–09 NHL season, the Sabres narrowly missed out on qualifying for a playoff berth.

Miller's popularity in both Buffalo and for U.S. hockey has spawned several nicknames including Miller Time (after the Miller brewing company's advertising slogan). While the Toronto media has nicknamed him the "Leaf Killer: Ryan Miller" for his excellent success against one of the Sabres top rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In the 2009–10 NHL season, Miller played exceptionally, with a GAA of under 2.00 before the Olympic break. He finished the season with a 2.22 GAA and a .929 SV%. He led the Buffalo Sabres to a Northeast Division title and posted 41 wins, breaking his former record of 40 wins posted in 2006–07. His play became even more popular around the U.S after being nominated for the Vezina Trophy for the league's best goaltender. On June 23, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the 2010 NHL Award Ceremony, Miller was announced as the winner of the 2010 Vezina Trophy beating New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. That same night, Miller also became the first American player to win the NHL Foundation Player Award.

Late in the 2010–11 NHL season, on March 29, 2011, during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite finishing the game in a 4-3 losing cause,[6] Miller suffered what was later reported to be an "upper body injury".[7] Initial speculation on the specifics of Miller's injury ranged from a concussion resulting from a Brian Rolston shot that rang off his mask, to a bruised collarbone from a Dion Phaneuf shot.[8] On February 4, 2012, Miller surpassed Dominik Hasek as the franchise leader in career wins with 235 in a 4-3 shootout win against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Miller accomplished this feat in six and a half years as the starting goaltender for Buffalo, while it took Hasek 9 years.[9]

The 2012-13 NHL Season did not go well for the Sabres as they finished 12th in the Eastern Conference and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year.[10] Miller's play declined as well and he had his worst statistical year as the starter for the Sabres with a 2.81 GAA and a .915 Save percentage. On April 19, during a game against the New York Rangers, Miller allowed 4 goals on 14 shots leading to sarcastic cheers from the Buffalo home crowd and Miller responded by throwing his arms in the air.[11] The game eventually ended in an 8-4 loss that eliminated the Sabres from playoff contention. The gesture combined with Miller's declining play led to speculation that he would be traded during the summer Off-season.[12]

International play[edit]

RyanMiller2010WinterOlympics - cropped-2.png
Miller won a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Silver2010 Vancouver

As a member of the Sabres, Miller was made a reserve for Team USA at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, but did not play. Miller was selected as starting goalie for the United States hockey team in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Miller led the team to a perfect 5-0 start, including a 5-3 win over gold-medal favorite Canada in the preliminary round, stopping 42 of 45 shots. The five wins, including victories over Switzerland and Finland in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, brought the US to the gold medal game, where they faced Canada for the second time. In the gold medal game, the US lost 3-2 in overtime despite Miller's 36 saves, as Sidney Crosby scored the game-winner in his second scoring attempt, after his first was saved by Miller. The US team won the silver medal, and Miller was named MVP of the tournament, with a save percentage of .946 and an American Olympic record GAA of 1.35.[13] Miller also won IIHF best goaltender honours and was named to the All-Star team.[14]

Steadfast Foundation[edit]

Miller, along with his father Dean, started the Steadfast Foundation which supports cancer patients and their families.

Miller at Consol Energy Center in 2011.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

  
SeasonTeamLeagueGPWLT/OTLMINGASOGAASV%
1999–00Michigan State UniversityCCHA25165315253981.540.932
2000–01Michigan State UniversityCCHA403154244854101.330.950
2001–02Michigan State UniversityCCHA40269524127181.770.936
2002–03Rochester AmericansAHL472318528151022.340.920
2002–03Buffalo SabresNHL156819124012.630.902
2003–04Buffalo SabresNHL30301771505.080.795
2003–04Rochester AmericansAHL6027257357913252.210.925
2004–05Rochester AmericansAHL634117437015382.450.922
2005–06Buffalo SabresNHL4830143286212412.600.914
2005–06Rochester AmericansAHL2110120502.500.889
2006–07Buffalo SabresNHL6340166369216822.730.911
2007–08Buffalo SabresNHL76362710447419732.640.906
2008–09Buffalo SabresNHL5934186344314552.530.918
2009–10Buffalo SabresNHL6941188404715052.220.929
2010–11Buffalo SabresNHL6634228382916552.590.916
2011–12Buffalo SabresNHL6131217353615062.540.916
2012–13Buffalo SabresNHL4017175230210802.810.915
NHL totals50026916453292771262282.590.915

Playoffs[edit]

  
SeasonTeamLeagueGPWLMINGASOGAASV %
2002–03Rochester AmericansAHL3121901304.11.856
2003–04Rochester AmericansAHL14778572621.82.934
2004–05Rochester AmericansAHL9545472402.63.909
2005–06Buffalo SabresNHL1811711234812.56.908
2006–07Buffalo SabresNHL169710293802.22.922
2009–10Buffalo SabresNHL6243841502.34.926
2010–11Buffalo SabresNHL7344102022.93.917
NHL totals472522294612132.46.917

International[edit]

  
YearTeamEventGPWLT/OTLMINGASOGAASV%
2010USAOly6501355811.35.946
Olympic totals6501355811.35.946

Awards and achievements[edit]

College[edit]

AHL[edit]

NHL[edit]

International[edit]

Records[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Miller married actress Noureen DeWulf on September 3, 2011.[15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mike Mottau
Winner of the Hobey Baker Award
2000–01
Succeeded by
Jordan Leopold
Preceded by
Ron Dayne
Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year
2000–01
Succeeded by
Jordan Leopold
Preceded by
Tim Thomas
Winner of the Georges Vezina Trophy
2010
Succeeded by
Tim Thomas