Ice Hockey Wiki
Ryan Miller
Born (1980-07-17)July 17, 1980,
East Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
168 lb (76 kg; 12 st 0 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team
F. teams
Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres
St. Louis Blues
Ntl. team Flag of the United States.png United States of America
NHL Draft 138th overall, 1999
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2002–present

Ryan Dean Miller (born July 17, 1980) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Miller was drafted 138th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. In 2010, he won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender.

He was selected to play for the United States in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as the team's starting goaltender.[1] He won a silver medal with the team and was named most valuable player of the tournament. Four years later, he was selected for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Miller is one of 30 goaltenders in NHL history to win 300 games in his career.

Miller is known for his hybrid style of goaltending. He is also the older brother of current Detroit Red Wings winger Drew Miller.

Early life

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 goaltender, 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 is currently a forward for the Detroit Red Wings and three cousins (Kelly Miller, Kip Miller and Kevin Miller) all played in the NHL. All five attended Michigan State University, where Ryan Miller played goalie for three years.[3]

Playing career


As a college player for the Michigan State University Spartans, Miller set a National Collegiate Athletic Association (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 (GAA) 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 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

After three seasons with Michigan State, Miller moved to the American Hockey League (AHL), where he played for the Buffalo 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 the season with a 2.45 GAA.

In 2004–05, the Americans were the North Division and Regular Season champions in the AHL. They lost in the division finals, however, to the Manitoba Moose.

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 ninth in a save percentage, with .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.

Ryan Miller 2010.jpg

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 save percentage 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 save percentage 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 earned a 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 helmet with the words "Matt Man".

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

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 National Football League's 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, 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 save percentage.

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 season, the Sabres narrowly missed out on qualifying for a playoff berth.

Miller with the Sabres in 2011.

Miller's popularity in both Buffalo and for American 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 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 save percentage. 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 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 Hašek 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 Hašek nine 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 second consecutive year.[10] Miller finished the season with a 2.81 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

Miller with the St. Louis Blues in 2014.

St. Louis Blues

On February 28, 2014, Miller and forward Steve Ott were traded from the Sabres to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Jaroslav Halák, Chris Stewart, William Carrier and two future draft picks.[11] He would make his Blues debut along with Ott on March 3, stopping 23 shots in a 4–2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

After falling in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs to defending 2013 Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, Miller's future became uncertain. On May 19, the Blues signed Brian Elliott to a three-year contract and Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong announced that Elliott would join Jake Allen to form their goaltending tandem, thereby omitting Miller from the team's future.

Vancouver Canucks

Miller became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2014, and signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks.[12] On October 28, Miller became the 30th goaltender in NHL history to reach 300 career wins. He made 29 saves as the Canucks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4–1. On January 30, 2015, after beating his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, 5–2, Miller has beaten every team in the NHL at least once. However, on February 22, Ryan Miller was injured after Jannik Hansen crashed into him ending his night as he and Eddie Lack combine a shutout over the New York Islanders. He would miss the next 21 games. After 22 games of not being on ice, Ryan Miller finally started the last game of the regular season as the Canucks beat the Edmonton Oilers, 6–5.

International play

Medal record

Miller won a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for the Flag of the United States United States
Olympic Games
Silver 2010 Vancouver

Miller was made a reserve for the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, but he did not play.

Miller was selected as starting goalie for the US in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He 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 quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively, brought the US to the gold medal game, where they faced Canada for the second time. In the gold medal game, the U.S. 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, however, won the silver medal in large part due to Miller's 5–0–1 record, and Miller was named the most valuable player of the tournament. Miller finished with a save percentage of .946 and a GAA of 1.35, both American Olympic records.[13] Miller also won International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) best goaltender honors and was named to the All-Star Team.[14]

After his selection to the US roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, head coach Dan Bylsma named Jonathan Quick the team's starting goalie over Miller and fellow Olympic teammate Jimmy Howard. Miller would go on to start and play in one of the US's six games. (Quick played in the other five.) In his one and only game, Miller made 17 saves in a 5–1 win against Slovenia. The US, however, did not medal in Sochi, and Miller finished the tournament with a 1–0 record, a 1.00 GAA, and a .944 save percentage.

Steadfast Foundation

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

Career statistics

Regular season

Season Team League GP W L T/OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1999–00 Michigan State University CCHA 25 16 5 3 1525 39 8 1.54 .932
2000–01 Michigan State University CCHA 40 31 5 4 2448 54 10 1.33 .950
2001–02 Michigan State University CCHA 40 26 9 5 2412 71 8 1.77 .936
2002–03 Rochester Americans AHL 47 23 18 5 2815 10 2 2.34 .920
2002–03 Buffalo Sabres NHL 15 6 8 1 912 40 1 2.63 .902
2003–04 Buffalo Sabres NHL 3 0 3 0 177 15 0 5.08 .795
2003–04 Rochester Americans AHL 60 27 25 7 3579 132 5 2.21 .925
2004–05 Rochester Americans AHL 63 41 17 4 370 153 8 2.45 .922
2005–06 Buffalo Sabres NHL 48 30 14 3 2862 124 1 2.60 .914
2005–06 Rochester Americans AHL 2 1 1 0 120 5 0 2.50 .889
2006–07 Buffalo Sabres NHL 63 40 16 6 3692 168 2 2.73 .911
2007–08 Buffalo Sabres NHL 76 36 27 10 4474 197 3 2.64 .906
2008–09 Buffalo Sabres NHL 59 34 18 6 3443 145 5 2.53 .918
2009–10 Buffalo Sabres NHL 69 41 18 8 4047 150 5 2.22 .929
2010–11 Buffalo Sabres NHL 66 34 22 8 3829 165 5 2.59 .916
2011–12 Buffalo Sabres NHL 61 31 21 7 3536 150 6 2.54 .916
2012–13 Buffalo Sabres NHL 40 17 17 5 2302 108 0 2.81 .915
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 40 15 22 3 2384 108 0 2.72 .923
2013–14 St. Louis Blues NHL 19 10 8 1 1117 46 1 2.47 .903
2014–15 Vancouver Canucks NHL 45 29 15 1 2542 107 6 2.53 .911
2015–16 Vancouver Canucks NHL 51 17 24 6 3027 137 1 2.70 .916
2016–17 Vancouver Canucks NHL 54 18 29 6 3212 150 3 2.80 .914
NHL totals 709 358 262 73 41,575 1810 39 2.61 .915


Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV %
2002–03 Rochester Americans AHL 3 1 2 190 13 0 4.11 .856
2003–04 Rochester Americans AHL 14 7 7 857 26 2 1.82 .934
2004–05 Rochester Americans AHL 9 5 4 547 24 0 2.63 .909
2005–06 Buffalo Sabres NHL 18 11 7 1123 48 1 2.56 .908
2006–07 Buffalo Sabres NHL 16 9 7 1029 38 0 2.22 .922
2009–10 Buffalo Sabres NHL 6 2 4 384 15 0 2.34 .926
2010–11 Buffalo Sabres NHL 7 3 4 410 20 2 2.93 .917
2013–14 St. Louis Blues NHL 6 2 4 422 19 0 2.70 .897
2014–15 Vancouver Canucks NHL 3 1 1 156 6 0 2.31 .910
NHL totals 56 28 27 3524 146 3 2.49 .915


Year Team Event GP W L OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2010 USA Oly 6 5 0 1 355 8 1 1.35 .946
2014 USA Oly 1 1 0 0 60 1 0 1.00 .944
Olympic totals 7 6 0 1 415 9 1 1.30 .946

Awards and honors

Award Year
All-CCHA Rookie Team 1999-00
All-CCHA Second Team 1999-00 [15]
CCHA All-Tournament Team 2000 [16]
All-CCHA First Team 2000–01 [15]
CCHA Player of the Year 2000–01
AHCA West First-Team All-American 2000–01
Hobey Baker Memorial Award 2000–01
C-Bone Classic Champion 2000–01
CCHA All-Tournament Team 2001 [16]
All-CCHA First Team 2001–02 [15]
CCHA Player of the Year 2001–02
AHCA West First-Team All-American 2001–02



30th goaltender in NHL history to win 300 career games (2014)



  • Buffalo Sabres franchise leader in career wins (284)
  • Buffalo Sabres franchise record for most wins in a season (41 in 2009–10)

Personal life

Miller married actress Noureen DeWulf on September 3, 2011.[17] On September 11, 2014, it was announced that the couple were expecting their first child.[18] Their son, Bodhi Ryan Miller, was born March 20, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia.[19]


  1. Home.
  2. Ryan Miller – Biography, NBC, <>. Retrieved on 2010-05-12
  3. Klein, Jeff Z.. "Sabres’ Miller Has His Best Year at Best Time", The New York Times, December 5, 2009. Retrieved on December 7, 2009. 
  4. Vaughters, Al (2011-04-10). Playoff run gives boost to WNY area. WIVB-TV. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  5. Sabres, Miller agree to five-year contract extension.. (July 18, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
  6. Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs - March 29th, 2011.
  7. Kanalley, Craig. "Ryan Miller Injury: Buffalo Sabres Goalie Suffers 'Upper Body' Ailment", Huffington Post, March 30, 2011. 
  9. Ryan Miller Stats and News.
  10. NHL Hockey 2016 Standings.
  11. Blues Acquire Miller, Ott from Buffalo.
  12. Canucks sign free agent G Miller to three-year contract. The Sports Network (2014-07-01). Retrieved on 2014-07-01.
  13. Miller carries Team USA to superb tournament.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Miller gets MVP honours. (February 28, 2010).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "All-CCHA Teams", College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved on 2013-07-27. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "2012–13 CCHA Media Guide", Retrieved on 2014-04-23. 
  18. Ryan Miller and Noureen DeWulf Expecting First Child (September 11, 2014). Retrieved on September 11, 2014.
  19. Ryan Miller and Noureen DeWulf Welcome Son Bodhi Ryan (March 20, 2015). Retrieved on March 20, 2015.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mark Kosick
CCHA Most Valuable Player in Tournament
Succeeded by

Michael Cammalleri
Preceded by
Award Created
CCHA Goaltender of the Year
Succeeded by

Mike Betz
Preceded by
Shawn Horcoff
CCHA Player of the Year
Succeeded by

Chris Kunitz
Preceded by
Mike Mottau
Winner of the Hobey Baker Award
Succeeded by
Jordan Leopold
Preceded by
Ron Dayne
Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Jordan Leopold
Preceded by
Tim Thomas
Winner of the Georges Vezina Trophy
Succeeded by
Tim Thomas