Miller, the former goalkeeper, is excited about the future of the Sabers

Buffalo – Ryan Miller He hasn’t worn the Buffalo Sabers jersey in over eight years, but the franchise-winning goalkeeper sees a promising future.

Cypress, who has not qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2011, finished the season in the 16-9-3 round and throughout the season saw significant growth from key young players as defenders. Owen Power And the Rasmus Dahlen, as well as veterans. It has been taken into account in renewed hope among its fan base.

“I’ve paid a little attention, and I think they’re making good progress, they’re making the right decisions,” said Miller, who was announced as part of the 2022 Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. . “They’ve kept their patience. I think that’s the key: to be patient, to let the players develop in the right way. It’s what has helped so many teams that you see perform at a high level. They have guys and they’re obviously blessed with great talent, but it also takes time.”

Miller went through it. He was selected by Buffalo in the fifth round (No. 138) of the 1999 NHL Draft, and played three seasons at Michigan State University and then most of three seasons with Rochester of the American Hockey League before becoming a full-time player in the NHL in 2005-06.

He played 11 seasons with the Saber before being traded to the St. Louis Blues on February 28, 2014.

Miller helped the Sabers to consecutive Eastern Conference Final appearances in 2006 and 2007, win the Visina Cup in 2010, and his 284-win victory was the most in Buffalo history.

“I think the Sabers are trying to do things the right way, by watching from afar,” Miller said. “They have potential, they have veterans who look like they want to stick with them. So, yeah, you just have to get that feeling. Any team can go out and win now. I think if you have the talent to make that happen, you just have to get that charm and vitality. I hope. That they come back to that, because that’s definitely what defined our teams. We had a group of veterans and a group of young men. We had a good mix. There was more belief than anything.”

In addition to the Blues, Miller also played for the Vancouver Canucks and the Anaheim Ducks. He retired after the 2020-21 season with 391 wins, most of all among US-born goalkeepers.

Miller is now focused on being a full-time father to 7-year-old son Buddy and 9-week-old daughter Kaya with his wife, actress, Noreen DeWolf. But he didn’t leave the game completely.

He was due to serve as the goalkeeping coach for the United States at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, but when schedule disruptions due to COVID-19 forced the NHL to withdraw its participation, USA Hockey made changes to the coaching staff.

Miller was also working in the NHL hockey operations department, “only helping out with the rules of the game and playing games,” he said. Likely to be in 2022 NHL Draft In Montreal, which takes place July 7-8, go to the general managers meeting, and you’ll likely be working with the US hockey team down the road.

A trip to GM will bring him together with former Cypress teammate Chris Drury, now general manager of the New York Rangers, who reached the Eastern Conference final.

Miller said it’s no surprise that Drury was successful in his first season as GM.

“He knows what it takes to win,” Miller said. “He’s very competitive. It looks like he was destined for that kind of work for sure. It’s also good to see Danny Brier in a similar ability. [special assistant to the GM of the Philadelphia Flyers]. I look forward to seeing what he can do as he climbs up and contributes. Yes, Drew, it’s no surprise. I’m really happy for him.”

The chance to return to Buffalo is a special one for Miller, who lives in Southern California. He is looking to show Boddy the city where he started his NHL career and what it means to him, by visiting the KeyBank Center as well as going to his former home among several stops on the agenda as they spend a few days in the city.

“I always feel like that’s kind of where I grew up,” Miller said. “I went to college in my hometown (East Lansing, Michigan) and then this was my chance to go out on my own, and it was also my first professional step. So there were a lot of first steps for me here and there that were part of my career and a lot of great memories.”

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