Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – Last Friday, the Buffalo Sabres announced they would be retiring Ryan Miller’s No. 30 at a game during the 2022-23 regular season.
Miller and his son Bohdi came to the arena in Buffalo, having no idea that once they got positioned in the crease, Rick Jeanneret would come onto the big board to tell him the news.
Miller was on WGR Sports Radio 550 on Wednesday when he joined "The Instigators" with Brian Duff and Marty Biron.
Miller and his wife, Noureen, had a daughter in April, and since they didn’t know, she wasn’t there.
“I think some fans might have noticed from the early part of the video that Noureen and the baby were missing, and it’s because the baby gave us kind of a tough night. It was such a surprise to me on what was happening that we had to call her and tell her to get down here," said Miller on Wednesday. "They did a good job, because I had no idea. I had been talking to Rich [Jureller] with the Sabres a little bit about wanting to come back and check–in ,and he never let on that anything was happening. I just thought I was going to visit with the coaching staff and see some of the guys, and I was happy to see everybody. I was pumped up, but I’m really excited.”
Miller went on to say he's really happy with the response.
"Buffalo meant a lot to me, and continues to be a place that I want to come back to," he said. "It was important to me to show Bohdi where Noureen and I spent our time, and Kaia - when she’s old enough to figure things out - the same thing.
“We’re going to make sure it’s a big part of the history of our family, and I’m excited that this is something we get to do with the Sabres. I always have that soft-spot for Buffalo in my heart, and it was great to get back.”
With continuing his career with the St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, there never was a time for Miller to come back and re-connect in Buffalo.
“It was really cool, because we got the [Greater Buffalo] Sports Hall of Fame announcement and they invited us to come back for the press stuff. It was Noureen who really encouraged me to go back, because I was like, ‘It’s media, we have a two-month-old by then and it’s going to be really hard.’ She said, ‘We’ve got to get out more, and we’ve got to see our friends.’ I was really glad we did that.
“Just to see everybody, Marty [Biron] helped organize to get a bunch of the boys together, and we had a great night catching up. It’s really what I was missing, connecting with all my buddies and seeing everybody from Buffalo.”
Miller, of course, was a big leader when he played in Buffalo. For the most part, it was Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier. Miller said he was invited by Regier to have conversations about the team.
“Darcy was really open about things," Miller said. "Not like I had a voice in it, but he wanted constructive conversations about my game personally, and how did I think we, as a group, were doing. I mean, it wasn’t breaking down player-by-player, it was just like, 'how are we as a group? Where are you at?' That kind of stuff.
“It would be a little bit above the players to be making long-term team decisions. I think there might be a few guys in this league that would garner the respect, but from my own experience, and from even just being around, I think it’s a lot to put onto even a star player. I mean, they’re a star player, but they don’t know the ins-and-outs of the salary cap, and what you have to do to keep a certain group of players together. It’s just very complicated now.”
The schedule isn’t out for next season, so we still don’t know when the ceremony will take place.