The Ducks have signed goaltender Ryan Miller to a two-year contract through the 2018-19 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Miller, 36 (7/17/80), joins Anaheim ranked 19th all-time and third among U.S.-born goaltenders with 358 career NHL victories. In 709 career games, Miller has posted a 358-262-73 record with 39 shutouts, a 2.61 goals-against average (GAA) and .915 SV%. Since his NHL debut in 2002-03, Miller ranks fifth among NHL goaltenders in wins, second in saves (19,450) and third in appearances.
A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Miller was named the MVP, Best Goaltender and an All-Star at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver as he helped lead Team USA to a silver medal. During the 2009-10 season, Miller won the 2010 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender and was a First Team All-Star. He was also voted a starter for the Eastern Conference at the 2007 All-Star Game in Dallas.
Selected by Buffalo in the fifth round (138the overall) of the 1999 NHL Draft, Miller holds Sabres franchise records in most career wins (284), appearances (540) and single-season wins (41 in 2009-10). The 6-2, 170-pound goaltender has appeared in 56 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with Buffalo, St. Louis and Vancouver, going 28-27 with three shutouts, a 2.49 GAA and .915 SV%. He has made six career trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including in 2007 and 2006 when he led the Sabres to the Eastern Conference Final.
Miller spoke with members of the media on a conference call shortly after the Ducks announced the contract signing. Below are his quotes.
What are your initial thoughts on signing with the Ducks?
I'm very happy. I don't know how to describe it. For us, it's a situation where, with our family, our wife has a career and we have a child, and it's going to help us tremendously with that. On the other side of it, the Ducks are a great team. I'm excited to join a great team.
How nice is it for you and your family to be together in Southern California?
It's pretty ideal. My wife has a career in acting, and that's much more time-intensive than people would imagine. For her to be committed to her craft and do what she needs to do to be successful, she needs to be here a lot. My wife ended up taking the brunt of a toddler while trying to do well in her job. That's really hard. Looking to prolong my career and helping her achieve her dreams is important. Just being able to make her smile and be happy was a huge thing for me. We're still trying to explain to my son that it's going to be the Ducks and not the Canucks. He really fell in love with the hockey team up there. We're excited to show him the new mascot and new rink.
How important was it to get a second year in your deal?
I was exploring what people were open to, and the Ducks were open to that. I feel like I have a lot of hockey left in me. I've been able to take care of myself. I can still play at a fairly high level. Any chance you have to play in the NHL is really a blessing, so I wanted to maximize my time and maximize my time chasing down a Stanley Cup with a team.
What are some of the things that stick out to you about the Ducks?
The biggest thing when you watch the Ducks is, when they're at the peak of their game, they're a heavy team but they also have speed in their game. It's quite impressive to watch. It's difficult to play against. I'm happy to be a part of that.
You've been an established No. 1 netminder, but here you might be mentoring a young goalie. What do you know about John Gibson, and what do you look forward to in terms of working with him?
He's a talented goaltender. He's proven he can take teams to the playoffs. My role is going to change, and I'm aware of that heading into it. When you're put in the net, you're trusted with the game. You need to play the best you can to give your guys a chance to win. That's still a priority. That's what I'm focusing on. If I can help John along the way, I hope to. I've been playing for a long time, and I'd like to think I have some things that can help him out. We're going to be teammates in this. You can see with the Penguins, you need guys to come in and step up when they're needed. That's going to be more of my role, to be prepared and ready to help at a high level.
You went through the free agency process three years ago with Vancouver. How do you think the expansion draft affected free agents?
Just from watching, there is a lot of movement. There was a lot of uncertainty about how things were going to play out, I'm sure. Expansion kinda forced the hands of a lot of teams. They're trying to replace a lot of what they feel they lost. With the salary cap being pretty flat, that's also something where movement needed to happen for some teams. It's a unique situation. I'm not sure you're going to see [something] like that again. It's definitely exciting for the fans. I'm happy it was something that worked out well for me and my family.
Have you spoken with Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray at all regarding your role with the team?
My role is going to change, but with any goaltender in the NHL, whether you're the No. 1 or No. 2, you have to be ready to play. It's a long season. He just expressed to me 'Come in, get to know everybody and be ready to play.' I don't think it's something you need to get too deep into in July. I haven't talked to anybody on the coaching staff, let alone Randy [Carlyle]. He's the guy that makes the call. Gibson's done a great job establishing himself, and he's shown he can start in the NHL. My job is to be prepared to play some games when Randy tells me to play.