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As his hockey dad career takes center stage, Ryan Miller is humbled and honored to join Hall of Fame

One of only three goalies to win college hockey's highest honor, Miller retired with more NHL wins than any American goalie in history.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller (30) defends the goal against the Washington Capitals in the first period Feb 17, 2019. at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL — For some athletes the end of a career means a chance to go back to the beginning where things all started. For Ryan Miller, the biggest honor of his storied hockey career will come back at where it all ended.

Miller, 42, will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday in downtown St. Paul. The venue, the RiverCentre, is next door to Xcel Energy Center where, on May 8, 2021, Miller played his final NHL game – a 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.

“We lost 4-3 in overtime in my first game, and my last,” Miller said this week in a conversation with The Rink Live from his home in Southern California. “Lots of stuff pops up.”

Miller joins sled hockey goaltender Steve Cash, the late Jim Johannson of USA Hockey, and Olympians Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando as inductees in the hall of fame.

Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Miller was a star at Michigan State and in 2001 became just the second goalie at the time to win the Hobey Baker award, given to the best player in college hockey. After helping the Spartans reach the 2001 Frozen Four, he signed professionally with the Sabres and spent 18 seasons in the NHL with Buffalo, St Louis, Vancouver and Anaheim. He retired with 391 wins which is the most by an American goalie in the NHL.

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Miller also made an impact while wearing red, white and blue most notably backstopping Team USA to a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. In retirement he splits his time between consulting with the NHL in their Hockey Operations department on things like ongoing efforts to clarify rules such as goaltender interference.

MORE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES COVERAGE:
Jim Johannson, a 1982 Rochester Mayo graduate, was a two-time Olympian, an NCAA national champion and was the assistant executive director of USA Hockey when he died in January of 2018. Johannson left a lasting impression through his work with more than a dozen USA national teams. Wednesday, he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the RiverCentre in St. Paul.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando will be inducted in November in St. Paul.
Rochester native Jim Johannson -- who played in two Olympic Games for Team USA and went on to a two-decade career at USA Hockey -- received a high honor Thursday. Johannson, who passed away in 2018, has been elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2022.
Former U.S. National Sled Team goalie played in four Paralympic Games where he helped the Americans win three goals medals and a bronze.
One of only three goalies to win college hockey's highest honor, Miller retired with more NHL wins than any American goalie in history.

In addition, he fills the role of hockey dad for his 7-year-old son who Miller admits at times likes to don the goalie pads at practice. Miller and his wife, actress Noureen DeWulf , also welcomed a daughter seven months ago.

“So we’re back into diapers with a little one who’s crawling now,” he said.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller (30) is joined by his son Bodhi and wife, Naureen DeWuff, after the May 1, 2021 game against the Los Angeles Kings in Anaheim, Calif.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports

As for joining American hockey's most elite club, Miller admitted it is sometimes hard to fathom what it will be like to see his name listed among the true legends of the game in the United States.

“It's humbling in a big way. I'm very honored to have made an impact in the sport, where people would consider me for this,” Miller said. “And then on the other side I can't believe we're at the point where I could be nominated for something like this.”

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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