The National Hockey League Foundation today announced that Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is the recipient of the 12th Annual NHL Foundation Player Award. The award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to Miller's Steadfast Foundation.
"We are very proud to award Ryan with the 2010 NHL Foundation Player Award," said Kenneth Martin, Jr., NHL Vice President Community Affairs. "His commitment to numerous children's charities and his personal dedication to the Steadfast Foundation in helping to find a cure for cancer exemplifies the commitment all our NHL players have in giving to their communities."
Miller established the Steadfast Foundation to benefit those afflicted and affected by the consequences of cancer, especially childhood forms of the disease. The organization, which has raised more than $500,000 since it was created in 2006, was inspired by Miller's cousin, Matt Schoals, who battled leukemia and eventually succumbed to the disease in 2007. The primary benefactor of the Steadfast Foundation is Carly's Club, a support group for children and families who are fighting cancer. Miller-organized support programs for Carly's Club include the Saves for Cancer program in 2008, which raised $30,000 based on Miller's on-ice play; an agreement with Perry's Ice Cream that has provided $20,000 to date based on sales of a new Miller-inspired flavor, Breakaway Berrier; and a partnership with Buffalo Place to present the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, at which members of the community can purchase Saves for Cancer holiday ornaments.
Miller also hosts an annual Catwalk for Charity, during which he and his teammates model clothing from Miller's The Refinery store in East Lansing, Mich. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $400,000. In addition, he donates suite tickets for all Sabres home games and HSBC Arena special events to Carly's Club and is an active supporter of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the Buffalo Sabres Adopt-a-Family program and the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
As one of the Sabres' most popular players, Miller is often called upon to assist with the Buffalo Sabres Foundation in its numerous community events and activities. He regularly spends time after games with fans that are sick, disabled or in need. Miller also participates in experiences that generate significant funds for the Buffalo Sabres Foundation despite the constant demands on his time.
NHL Clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists were selected by a judging panel. Other finalists for this year's honor were Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown and Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green.
Past recipients of the NHL Foundation Player Award include Rick Nash (2009), Vincent Lecavalier and Trevor Linden (2008), Joe Sakic (2007), Marty Turco (2006), Jarome Iginla (2004), Darren McCarty (2003), Ron Francis (2002), Olaf Kolzig (2001), Adam Graves (2000), Rob Ray (1999) and Kelly Chase (1998).