The Buffalo Sabres honored goalie Ryan Miller in a pre-game ceremony on Thursday, inducting him into the club’s Hall of Fame and retiring his #30 jersey number alongside members of the French Connection (Gilbert Perreault (#11), Richard Martin (#7), Rene Robert(#14)), defenseman Tim Horton (#2), center Pat LaFontaine (#16), winger Danny Gare (#18), and goalie Dominik Hasek (#39).
The 42-year-old played 11 of his 18 seasons in Blue, White, and Gold, led Buffalo to consecutive Eastern Conference Final appearances in 2006 and 2007, is the franchise leader in victories (284), and is one of three Sabres netminders to win the Vezina Trophy, and be named NHL first team All-Star in a season (2009-10). Miller also made his mark internationally, winning a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games before finishing his career with St. Louis, Vancouver, and Anaheim.
Tonight, we honor Ryan Miller‘s legacy in Buffalo.
We’ll see you at 6PM for the ceremony!
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 19, 2023
“I know (Ryan) through USA Hockey, even more being part of that and (he is) arguably the greatest in that regard.” Sabres head coach Don Granato said on Thursday. “Tonight’s a big night beyond Buffalo for that reason because he meant so much to USA Hockey.”
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Miller was a fifth-round selection of the Sabres in 1999 and played three seasons at Michigan State before turning pro in 2002. After splitting time between the American Hockey League and Buffalo his first two years, and playing a full year with Rochester during the NHL 2004-05 lockout, the lanky netminder led Buffalo to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. The following season, the Sabres reached the final four again before losing to the Ottawa Senators in five games.
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In the club’s 53-year history, Miller ranks only behind Hasek (a six-time Vezina and first-team All-Star). The Hockey Hall-of-Famer helped the Sabres reach the Cup Final in 1999 before leaving for Detroit and winning two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008. Tom Barrasso won the Calder (NHL Rookie of the Year) and Vezina Trophy as an 18-year-old after being selected fifth overall in the 1983 NHL Draft but was traded after six seasons to Pittsburgh, where he won consecutive Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992. Don Edwards won the Vezina in 1980, when the Sabres lost to the NY Islanders in the Stanley Cup Semi-Final, while Roger Crozier was Buffalo’s first starting goalie after gaining entry to the NHL in 1970 and helped the Sabres reach their first Cup Final in 1975.