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Catching up with Drew Miller

Former Wing remains in Michigan, still pondering his next move

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- Drew Miller hasn't changed much but it has only been a couple of years.

Miller, who last played for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2016-17 season, skated for the first time in a while Wednesday as he helped coach at the fantasy camp at the BELFOR Training Center at Little Caesars Arena.

It is Miller's first time at the camp as he joins veterans Kirk Maltby, Larry Murphy, Mathieu Dandenault, Jason Woolley and Anders Eriksson.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: #RedWings Fantasy Camp is underway at @LCArena_Detroit! Presented by: @budweiserusa #ThisBudsForYou #DRWFC

Red Wings goaltending coach Jeff Salajko is also on hand to help out the goalies in the group of campers.

Although he played 29 games in the Swedish Hockey League for Brynas IF this past season, Miller said he's in a different mode at the moment.

"I'm just hanging out, being a husband and a father right now," Miller said. "Just kind of enjoying the summer and kind of see where it takes me next. That's about it."

Miller, 34, said he has also been working on his honey-do list.

"A lot of projects around the house and the cottage," he said. "Just fixing stuff up and doing little things like that, staying active. Just enjoying my time and enjoying my wife and my daughter and my family and friends. That's pretty much about it. Enjoying not working out and skating and training and all that, the stressfulness of all that, just putting your body through it. It's nice to not have to do that."

One of the perks of not playing is being able to spend lots of time with his wife, Colleen, and his daughter, Octavia, who turned 2 in May.

"It's great but it's also a lot more respect for my wife and mothers and caretakers out there," Miller said. "When you're there every day, it definitely has its ups and downs but it's definitely been great to be home and build a bond with her and hang out. It's been a lot of fun."

Miller said his daughter can be a challenge to keep up with as she is so active.

"We're outside a lot, sandbox, we go up to the park and the swing set," he said. "She likes to climb on stuff and do all that. I got to find my way up a lot of the smaller crevices on those play sets. I go down slides with her and stuff like that. It keeps me active."

Miller is currently in summer mode as normal but he's already looking forward to some things that he didn't get to do when he was playing.

"I want to get to a couple tailgates up at Michigan State, being home for every holiday," Miller said. "Those are the things that we miss that a lot of people don't understand that we miss out on a lot. Depending on the schedule, we might be home for Halloween or you might be home for Thanksgiving, but now I'm definitely going to be home for all of those.

"I don't have a three-day break over Christmas, I have as much as I want. Those are the things that you look forward to. You just miss out on a lot of little things like that. I won't miss out on them so I'm looking forward to that."

As for his next move career-wise, Miller said he's exploring some different options, which might include returning to Michigan State to complete his degree.

But for now, he's just going to ease into things.

"I'm just kind of exploring different options and talking with different people to kind of just see what's out there," Miller said. "I kind of looked into the hockey side and right now, I just wasn't ready to jump right back into hockey. That doesn't mean I count it out or I don't want to do that. But as of right now, I just wasn't ready to jump into another season as a coach or on the management side of it. I don't rule it out but as of right now, no hockey."

No hockey for Miller except for the fantasy camp this week.

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