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Wild fans applaud retiring goalie Miller in last game

With family in attendance, veteran of 18 NHL seasons gets emotional sendoff

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Wild fans salute Ryan Miller

ANA@MIN: Wild fans honor Ryan Miller in final game

Minnesota Wild fans showed their appreciation to Ryan Miller during his final game, honoring the net minder for his years of play in the NHL

  • 00:29 •

Minnesota Wild fans gave retiring Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller a stirring standing ovation for what was likely his final NHL game at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Miller has enjoyed a fitting sendoff to his 18-season NHL career. Many hockey fans in Minnesota may have been watching Miller since he was playing at Michigan State, before his time with the Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks and saluted him in classy fashion.

His parents were in the crowd, and the Miller family had a tender moment together after the game.

Tweet from @BallySportWest: An emotional moment at the end of an amazing career🥺🧡#FlyTogether | @AnaheimDucks | @RyanMiller3039

"Pretty emotional," Miller said after the game. "It was nice to have them there. They were there in the beginning, [and it] felt right to have them there at the end."

Like last Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings, Wild players also approached Miller after the game, a 4-3 Minnesota win, to shake his hand and offer congratulations on a spectacular career.

"A 10 out of 10 human being," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said of Miller. "I've loved our time together, personally. He's someone I can bounce things off of. He's got a lot of experience. We will miss him." 

But Miller wasn't the only Ducks player receiving a hero's welcome in Minnesota. Ducks forward David Backes, a Minneapolis native who likely played his final NHL game in St. Louis on Wednesday, also got a huge salute from the crowd in St. Paul on Saturday.

Tweet from @BallySportWest: Respect👏David Backes, a Minnesota native, gets an ovation from the @mnwild faithful... this time as a fan😆#FlyTogether | @AnaheimDucks

The ovations were no surprise given Miller and Backes' character, according to Eakins.

"It simply shows how much respect these guys carry in the [NHL]," Eakins said. "It's no secret in this League what both of those men have meant to other teams; to their teammates. When you see that that is something special."

- independent correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report.

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