EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After 18 seasons in the National Hockey League, Ryan Miller announced on Thursday morning he will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. Which is not only a bittersweet time for him, but his parents Dean and Teresa Miller.
They sat in on his retirement press conference that the Anaheim Ducks held for him, via Zoom, and mentioned how hard it is to believe how much time has gone by.
“It was tough,” said Dean Miller. “He knew he was ready to retire, but yet you’re not ready to retire,” added Teresa Miller. “He loves the game. He loves being with the team and I think it was very emotional for him to just say, ‘I’m not going to come and do this job anymore. The job that I love and I’ve worked hard at’ so it was tough.”
The former Michigan State standout has played 794 games for Buffalo, Vancouver, St. Louis, and currently Anaheim. Miller has 390 career wins, which ranks first among American-born goalkeepers.
“He can still play at that world-class level, but it takes a lot out of him,” said Dean.
Miller was drafted 138th overall by the Buffalo Sabers in the 1999 entry draft. Ten years later during the 2009-10 season, he took home the Vezina Trophy, which is given to the league’s top goalie.
That same year, Miller went on to play goalie for the U.S.A. team that won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Miller was also named the 2010 Olympics men’s hockey tournament’s most valuable player. Four years later, Miller was back representing his country for the 2014 U.S. Hockey Olympic team in Russia.
A memory, and a moment, his parents remember fondly.
“It was the whole atmosphere,” said Teresa. “It was being around a lot of the other athletes’ parents. We always laugh because you go back to when they were little kids and you used to travel with them and they’d all hang out at the hotel, and have a great time, and it was kind of like back in the day.”
“What you learn with these guys at that level is they’re still those little boys,” added Dean. “It’s no different than when they were little kids. They’re just men that shave every once and awhile. Not very often.”
His success in the NHL shouldn’t come as a surprise if you saw him play at MSU. Miller won the Hobey Baker award in 2001, an award given to the NCAA’s top hockey player, and he still holds the NCAA career shutout record with 26. Miller is the only goalie in hockey history to win the top NCAA goalie award, top American Hockey League goalie award, top NHL goalie award, and win MVP at the Olympics.
6 Sports Director, Audrey Dahlgren sat down with Miller’s parents, Dean and Teresa, via Zoom to discuss their son’s historic career. You can watch the full interview below.