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Aaron Miller

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Aaron Miller
Born (1971-08-11) August 11, 1971 (age 46)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Right
Played for Quebec Nordiques
Colorado Avalanche
Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver Canucks
National team  United States
NHL Draft 88th overall, 1989
New York Rangers
Playing career 1993–2008

Aaron Michael Miller (born August 11, 1971) is a retired American professional ice hockey defenseman. Over the course of his fourteen-year career in the National Hockey League, Miller played for four teams: the Quebec Nordiques, who eventually relocated and became the Colorado Avalanche, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Vancouver Canucks. In 2002, he was selected as a member of United States hockey team at the 2002 Winter Olympics, where he won a silver medal. Prior to making his professional debut, Miller earned a degree in business from the University of Vermont.

Early life

Miller was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. After playing forward at St. Francis High School and the Niagara Scenics in Buffalo, Miller was given a scholarship to the University of Vermont.[1] Prior to attending the university, he was drafted 88th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.[2] Miller was named team captain at the start of the 1992-93 season.[3] He scored four goals and 13 assists in 30 games over the year, and was named to both the ECAC First All-Star Team and the NCAA East Second All-American Team.[4] After four years at Vermont, he graduated with a degree in business.[5] He finished his university career with 11 goals and 62 points in 122 games, later being named to Vermont's All-Time Men’s Hockey Team, "The ECAC Years."[3]

Professional career

Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche

Though he was drafted by the Rangers in 1989, Miller opted to go to university and complete his degree. It was while he was at university that Miller was traded by the Rangers. On January 17, 1991, he was sent to the Quebec Nordiques along with the Rangers 5th round draft choice (Bill Lindsay) in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft for Joe Cirella.[4]

After graduating from university, Miller made his professional debut in 1993 for the Nordiques minor league affiliate, the Cornwall Aces of the American Hockey League. On January 15, 1994, he made his NHL debut in Quebec against the Washington Capitals. Miller's first professional season ended with one NHL game, and 64 AHL games, where he scored four goals and 10 assists. The next season, he appeared in nine games for the Nordiques, earning three assists. Miller also played 76 games for the Aces, finishing with totals of four goals and 22 points.

On June 21, 1995, the Quebec Nordiques transferred to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche. Miller joined the team in Colorado, and split the 1995–96 season between Colorado and Cornwall. In 62 games with Cornwall, he had four goals and 23 assists, while going scorless in five games with the Avalanche. Because he didn't appear in enough games, Miller was not considered as part of the Stanley Cup winning Avalanche team.[1]

The 1996–97 season was Miller's first full season in the NHL. In a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 11, 1996, Miller scored his first NHL goal.[6] He finished with five goals and 17 points while appearing in 56 games for the Avalanche, and his plus-minus was a +15, the best in the NHL for rookie players.[7] It also marked the NHL playoff debut for Miller, who had a goal and two assists in 17 playoff games. The following season, he had four points in 55 games for the Avalanche, while going pointless in seven playoff games. Miller had his most productive season in 1998–99. After scoring a career-high 18 points in 76 games, Miller participated in 19 playoff games, with a career best five assists and six points. He would only play in 53 games the next season, but did suit up for every playoff game, scoring a goal and an assist in 17 games.[8]

After 56 games with the Avalanche during the 2000–01 season, where he had 13 points, Miller was traded for the second time in his career. On February 21, 2001 Miller was sent to the Los Angeles Kings by the Colorado Avalanche with Adam Deadmarsh, a player later to be named (Jared Aulin, who would be traded on March 22, 2001) and Colorado's 1st round choices in the 2001 (Dave Steckel) and 2003 (Brian Boyle) Entry Drafts for Rob Blake and Steven Reinprecht.[9] Miller was not originally meant to be traded, but the Kings insisted he be part of the deal.[4]

Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks

Miller would finish the 2000–01 season with the Kings. In the final 13 games of the regular season, he had five assists, finishing with a career-best 14 assists and matching his career high of 18 points in one season. He contributed an assist in 13 playoff games as the Kings played the Avalanche, Miller's former team, who defeated Los Angeles as they went on to win the Stanley Cup for the second time.[8]

In his first full season with the Kings, Miller played in 74 games for the team, scoring five goals and adding 12 assists during the 2001–02 season. At the conclusion of the regular season, Miller was named the winner of several Kings team awards: best defenseman, best defensive player and the teams unsung hero.[10] During the playoffs, he went pointless while playing in all seven of the Kings' games. Abdominal surgery and a broken foot limited Miller to 49 games with the Kings the next season, recording one goal and five assists for six points.[11]

In a game against the Atlanta Thrashers on December 10, 2003, Miller injured his neck. It would lead him to miss most of the 2003–04 season, appearing in 35 games and scoring one goal and two assists.[8] The 2004–05 NHL lockout resulted in a cancelled 2004–05 season. Unlike many other players, Miller did not play in a different league. He returned to play for the 2005–06 season and earned eight assists in 56 games. For the first time in his career, Miller played in all 82 games during the 2006–07 season, again scoring eight assists.[8]

As an unrestricted free agent, Miller signed a one-year contract for $1.5 million with the Vancouver Canucks on July 9, 2007, ending his time with the Kings.[12] On December 18, 2007, Miller scored a goal against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, his first goal in 193 games, a span lasting over four years.[13] The goal, the game-winner, marked the longest stretch of Miller's career between scoring goals. In a game on March 6 against the Nashville Predators, Miller injured his shoulder and ended up missing the remainder of the season.[14] Following the conclusion of the 2007–08 season, in which he had eight assists in addition to the goal, Miller retired from hockey. In 2000 Miller had his first child, Grace Miller

International play

Medal record
Representing United States United States
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2002 Salt Lake City
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Czech Republic

Aaron Miller has appeared for the United States in several international tournaments. His first appearance was at the 1991 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He scored a goal and an assist in eight games. Miller was also chosen to play in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. In six games, Miller went pointless as the Americans won the silver medal, and experience he referred to as "best part of [his] career."[1] Two years later, he joined the bronze medal-winning American team at the 2004 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. He contributed an assist in nine games. Later that year he participated in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and appeared in 5 games.[8] Miller made a return to the World Championships in 2005, playing seven games and scoring two assists. He was named to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, but pulled out due to back problems.[15]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1987-88 Niagara Scenics NAHL 30 4 9 13 2
1988-89 Niagara Scenics NAHL 59 24 38 62 60
1989–90 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 31 1 15 16 24
1990–91 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 30 3 7 10 22
1991–92 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 31 3 16 19 36
1992–93 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 30 4 13 17 16
1993–94 Cornwall Aces AHL 64 4 10 14 49 13 0 2 2 10
1993–94 Quebec Nordiques NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1994–95 Cornwall Aces AHL 76 4 18 22 69
1994–95 Quebec Nordiques NHL 9 0 3 3 6
1995–96 Cornwall Aces AHL 62 4 23 27 77 8 0 1 1 6
1995–96 Colorado Avalanche NHL 5 0 0 0 0
1996–97 Colorado Avalanche NHL 56 5 12 17 15 17 1 2 3 10
1997–98 Colorado Avalanche NHL 55 2 2 4 51 7 0 0 0 8
1998–99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 76 5 13 18 42 19 1 5 6 10
1999–00 Colorado Avalanche NHL 53 1 7 8 36 17 1 1 2 6
2000–01 Colorado Avalanche NHL 56 4 9 13 29
2000–01 Los Angeles Kings NHL 13 0 5 5 14 13 0 1 1 6
2001–02 Los Angeles Kings NHL 74 5 12 17 54 7 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Los Angeles Kings NHL 49 1 5 6 24
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 35 1 2 3 32
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 56 0 8 8 27
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 0 8 8 60
2007–08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 57 1 8 9 32
NHL totals 677 25 94 119 422 80 3 9 12 40

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1991 United States WJC 4th 8 1 1 2 0
2002 United States Oly 2nd, silver medalist(s) 6 0 0 0 4
2004 United States WC 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 9 0 1 1 4
2004 United States WCH 4th 5 0 0 0 4
2005 United States WC 6th 7 0 2 2 6
2006 United States Oly 8th
Junior totals 8 1 1 2 0
Senior totals 27 0 3 3 18
  • All stats taken from NHL.com[16]

Awards

NCAA

Award Year
All-ECAC Hockey Rookie Team 1989–90
All-ECAC Hockey First Team 1992–93
AHCA East Second-Team All-American 1992–93

Los Angeles Kings team awards

Award Year
Outstanding Defenseman 2002
Defensive Player 2002
Unsung Hero 2002

Post-Playing Career

Miller resides in Burlington, Vermont and is the owner of six Buffalo Wild Wings franchises with his business partner in Burlington, Concord, NH, Waterbury, CT, Plattsburgh, NY and Southington, CT.[17] He also provided color commentary for select Vermont Catamounts men's ice hockey radio broadcasts from 2009 to 2010 on AM 620, WVMT.

References

  1. ^ a b c Gleason, Bucky (2008-10-13). "Aaron Miller’s career beyond his expectations". Buffalo News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  2. ^ "Aaron Miller". NHL.com. Retrieved 22 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b University of Vermont (2008). "Vermont's All-Time Men's Hockey Team "The ECAC Years" Announced". University of Vermont. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ a b c Legends of Hockey (2008). "Aaron Miller Page". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  5. ^ Gibson, John (2008). "School's in Session". Canucks.com. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  6. ^ Colorado Avalanche (2008). 2008–09 Colorado Avalanche Media Guide. Boulder, Colorado: D & K Printing. p. 204. 
  7. ^ National Hockey League (1997). 1998 NHL Yearbook. Toronto: Worldsport Properties. p. 69. 
  8. ^ a b c d e National Hockey League (2008). National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2009. Toronto: Dan Diamond & Associates, Inc. p. 474. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0. 
  9. ^ "Avs hope Blake puts them over the top". ESPN.com. 2001-02-21. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  10. ^ "Kings Annual Team Awards". LAKings.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  11. ^ National Hockey League (2003). 2004 NHL Yearbook. Toronto: CCMC. p. 137. 
  12. ^ Vancouver Canucks (2007). "Canucks Acquire Free Agent Defenceman Aaron Miller". Canucks.com. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (2007). "Game Recap: New Jersey vs. Vancouver, Dec. 17, 2008". NHL.com. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  14. ^ Kuzma, Ben (2008-03-19). "Against Oilers 'we're going to ice a lineup that can take care of itself,' says coach". The Province. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  15. ^ Brehm, Mike (2006-02-06). "Miller named to taxi squad; Hedican joins Team USA". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  16. ^ NHL.com (2009). "NHL Profile". NHL.com. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 

External links

  • Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
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