After a great win and even better goal celebration by Pat Kaleta on Sunday in New York, the boys boarded the team plane and headed back to Buffalo.
As for Ryan Miller
and I, we stayed back in the city for an extra day so he could complete a mega media tour. The appointments were arranged by a combination of hard work between our team, the NHL and Ryan’s agency Octagon.
We were picked up at 7:30 a.m. from our hotel and were taken to the NBC studios for a taping of the Today Show
. We were very warmly received by all the people who work for the show upon arrival and caught up with Schuyler from the NHL who would be traveling with us throughout the day.
Matt Lauer and Ann Curry greeted us and spent a great deal of time speaking with Ryan between breaks, showing us a lot of hospitality . Then 8:30 a.m. came around and Ryan was escorted to the plaza where he was met by cheering fans (including some wearing the blue and gold and holding up Miller jerseys). After a great interview and reception, we were then off to the Bloomberg offices.
The offices there were breathtaking, with a glass façade that provided a clear and bright interior. Many people came up to Ryan on our way to his Radio, print and television interviews to shake hands and share their congratulations on his Olympic performance. Ryan covered all categories from youth hockey and the Olympics, to the League and his place among the top players.
From there was a trip to the NHL offices for a sit-down interview with Jessica from Vanity Fair
magazine. She was great and really seemed to enjoy spending time with Ryan. The best thing about the interview was that it was very different than the usual hockey-related question that we normally hear. Following the Vanity Fair piece, Ryan sat down with the guys from the NHL to complete a variety of interviews and feature pieces.
Finally a break…at least for a while... A quick lunch and we were on the road again, this time to the Sirius XM studios for Ryan to play guest DJ on the Alternative Nation channel. This was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to talk about some of the music that he likes. Regan was great and really made him feel comfortable behind the microphone.The Wall Street Journal
was next in line for a series of photos, web interviews and a print interview.
This time the business of hockey and the impact that the Olympics can have on the game and NHL itself. It is very interesting to see how at each stop, the same topics are covered but by many different angles. The photographer took some great still shots.
One of the final stops was a visit with the crew at the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown!
We were greeted by Jim Shearer and the crew from VH1 overlooking Central Park. Jim is a big Penguins fan, but was also a big fan of Ryan and Team USA.
Ryan did a fine job in his interview between songs 18 and 17 (not telling who). The questions were great and even one of his Sabres teammates got a shout out (you will have to watch Saturday or Sunday this week). After the interview and a few pics with the crew, it was off to Forbes.com for the last business interview of the day.
We jumped on the airplane and headed back to sunny Buffalo after a busy days work. On Tuesday, the last two pieces of the tour were completed. A sit down interview with French station RDS was the first of two big interviews. The interview at the Amherst Center looked great and will be used later in the season.
Last but not least was Ryan’s appearance on Jim Rome’s show Rome Is Burning on ESPN. Ryan is a fan of Jim and he was a guest to Jim’s radio program a few days before the Olympics. Judging by the interviews, I think Jim is a fan of Ryan as well.
The locker room at HSBC Arena was the setting of the shot. The locker room was filled with gear as the Dallas Stars had to have their bags left in the room because their locker room was being occupied by the Elton John/Billy Joel concert the was late that night. Willie, Rip and George (Sabres Equipment managers) were kind enough to let us have a little space, even though we probably added a lot more work for the boys.
Overall, it was a great 24 hours. I know Ryan was tired of speaking and will probably kill me if I ask him to do another interview this week! I give Ryan a lot of credit for all that he has put in the past month and how well he has pulled it all off.
Now let’s hope we have a lot more interviews for the League at the end of June.