In news reported by the Anaheim Ducks, the great US-born goalie Ryan Miller will retire at the end of the current 2020-21 campaign.
As Miller noted, “It was a dream come true when I played my first NHL game and it has been a privilege to spend 18 years as a professional.”
Miller added, “I have decided that I am going to retire after the season having been given more time doing what I love than I could ever have hoped for. Thank you to you my teammates and staff, past and present. I’m thankful to so many who made my career possible and helped me on my journey from youth hockey to the NHL. Thank you to my family for supporting me with so much love and enthusiasm.”
Miller’s Emotional Farewell to Hockey after 18-year NHL career
In the video below, Miller shares his feelings about retiring after his 18-year NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, and the Anaheim Ducks.
How Good Was Miller as a Goalie?
Miller was one of the best natural goalies of his time. He was awarded the Vezina Trophy in 2010 and is the NHL’s all-time leader in wins for an US-born goaltender with 390. The 40-year-old goalie will hang up his skates at season’s end, which for the Anaheim Ducks is in six more games. The Ducks final game is scheduled for May 8 against the Minnesota Wild on the road.
Before Miller became the all-time NHL leader in wins by a U.S.-born goalie, that record had been held by John Vanbiesbrouck at 384 wins. Although Miller’s been a backup goalie since he came to Anaheim over the past four seasons, he had averaged more than 50 starts per season before he made that move. In fact, during the 2007-08 season, Miller set a Sabres’ franchise record by playing 76 games.
Miller’s Career Records
Unless he plays a game or two with the Ducks over the next six, Miller’s career record will stand at 390-289-89 in 794 games. First joining the Buffalo Sabres during the 2002-03 season, Miller had been a consistent goalie with the Sabres, Blues, Canucks, and now the Ducks.
Miller grew up in East Lansing, Michgan, and Vanbiesbrouck (who was born in nearby Detroit) was his hero. Miller believed Vanbiesbrouck was a fixture in the ’80s and ’90s, which was right when I was growing up and watching a lot of hockey.” Vanbiesbrouck “was definitely a goalie I looked up to.”
Miller’s Collegiate Career with Michigan State University
Miller had a fantastic university career for Michigan State from 1999-2002. His collegiate record was 73-19-12 record with a 1.54 goals-against-average in 106 career university games. When he won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the nation’s top collegiate player in 2001, he was only the second goaltender to ever win the award. He was also a finalist in 2002. The only other goalie to win the award was Robb Stauber in 1988.
Miller spent much of his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres and was absolutely one of the best NHL goalies when he played there. Miller won a silver medal for the United States at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and was named most valuable player in hockey that Olympics. His save percentage of .946 and a GAA of 1.35 are both American Olympic records.
What’s Next for Miller?
Currently Miller is far ahead of the next winningest US goalie (Jonathan Quick has 324 wins in his career); however, perhaps the best U.S.-born goalie with a chance to beat Miller’s record is Connor Hellebuyck, who has 169 wins in his seasons with the Winnipeg Jets.
Miller will likely continue to live in the Los Angeles area. His wife is Noureen DeWulf, an American actress who starred as Lacey in the television show Anger Management. Her acting career is one reason Miller chose the Ducks over other teams after he left the Canucks.
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