American goaltender Ryan Miller, whose nearly 20 season career set a number of records for U.S.-born goaltenders, today announced he will retire from the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks at the end of this current season, at the age of 40.
Miller, the East Lansing, Michigan native who was a standout collegiate goaltender for his hometown Michigan State Spartans, debuted for the Buffalo Sabres in 2002, three years following his draft year, emerging as the first major standout goaltender for the Sabres since the Dominik Hašek era, helping the Sabres to a surprising Eastern Conference finals berth in 2006. In his twelve seasons with the Sabres, Miller would be named an NHL All-Star in 2007, win the Vezina Trophy as top NHL goaltender in 2010, and surpass Hašek as the Sabres leader in wins with 235 by 2012. Miller was traded at the 2014 trade deadline to St. Louis, spending only 19 games before signing with the Vancouver Canucks in the offseason. Miller would spend three seasons each with the Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, with injuries and age reducing his playing time, and would only start four playoff games in his final six seasons. Miller retires 14th all time on the NHL wins list at 390 (as of this writing), and has the most wins by a U.S.-born goalie in NHL history.
Miller, who did not play for Team USA at the junior level, first joined the senior squad at the 2001 World Championships, suiting up for the next three tournaments medal-less. Miller saw his first substantial action at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where he had a staggering .946 save percentage in five wins, leading Team USA to the Gold Medal game, where they would settle for Silver as Miller was in net for the historic overtime “Golden Goal” by Sidney Crosby, and despite the loss, was named Tournament MVP. Miller would return at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but only saw one start, with the U.S. finishing fourth.
While Miller did not capture the IHLC over his career, his contributions to American hockey, and goaltending in particular, cannot be understated, so we recognize his accomplishments in spite of this fact, and wish Ryan and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!