On Thursday, Ryan Miller was honored as the eighth Buffalo Sabres player to have his number raised to the rafters, and the 43rd inductee into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. Miller was joined by his wife, Noureen DeWulf; son Bodhi, 7; daughter Kaia, 9 months; parents Dean and Teresa; brothers Drew and Bryce; and sister Brynn. The crowd erupted with a rousing ovation and iconic call of “Milllleeeeerrrrr!” from Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret. Owner Terry Pegula presented Miller with a sword during the ceremony prior to Buffalo’s 3-2 overtime win against the New York Islanders.
Miller had more than 100 friends and family members in attendance, including 18 former Sabres teammates such as Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Henrik Tallinder, as well as former longtime equipment manager Rip Simonick. Former Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek welcomed Miller to the club in a video. Buffalo had previously retired Hasek’s No. 39 in 2015. The other Buffalo players with retired numbers are Gilbert Perreault (No. 11), Richard Martin (No. 7), Rene Robert (No. 14), Tim Horton (No. 2), Danny Gare (No. 18) and Pat LaFontaine (No. 16).
Miller ranks first among goalies in Buffalo history in wins (284), games played (540), saves (14,847) and wins in a season (41). He played 11 seasons with the Sabres (2002-14) and was their No. 1 goalie from 2005-06 until he was traded to the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 28, 2014. Buffalo qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs four times with Miller, including reaching the Eastern Conference Final in 2006 and 2007. He won the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goalie voted the best in the League, in 2009-10 when he had an NHL career-high 41 wins, a 2.22 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
Among United States-born NHL goalies, Miller is first in wins and second both in games played (796), behind John Vanbiesbrouck (882), and shutouts (44), behind Jonathan Quick (57). Miller has been honored with the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame induction on Nov. 9 and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 30.
The current Sabres players watched the ceremony from the bench and took a photo with Miller after the game. Forward Alex Tuch, who grew up a fan of the team in Baldwinsville, New York, said that Miller was the goalie he got to grow up watching play. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman noted Miller’s impact on the Sabres franchise and the community. Miller said that he was most proud of playing with the guys and the feeling of winning a game, and that he and his teammates built it together as a group.
On June 7th, 2019, the Buffalo Sabres retired the No. 30 jersey of longtime goaltender Ryan Miller, officially enshrining him in the team’s Hall of Fame. Miller is the first goaltender in franchise history to have his jersey retired.
The 37-year-old Miller was a fixture in Buffalo from 2002 to 2014, and in that time he established himself as one of the best goaltenders in franchise history. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender in 2010 and was a two-time All-Star. He was also a member of Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, helping them to a silver medal in 2010.
During his time in Buffalo, Miller was immensely popular with the fans. He was known for his passion and dedication to the team, and he was also a leader in the community. He was a founding member of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for local charities.
Miller’s jersey retirement ceremony was held at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, and it was attended by thousands of Sabres fans. The ceremony was an emotional one, with Miller’s family, friends, and former teammates in attendance. Miller thanked the fans for their support over the years, and he spoke about what Buffalo meant to him.
Miller’s jersey retirement is a fitting tribute to a player who was a cornerstone of the Sabres for over a decade. He was a leader on the ice and in the community, and his No. 30 jersey will now hang in the rafters of KeyBank Center for years to come. It’s a fitting tribute to a player who was a true leader for the Sabres.