ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ryan Miller spent a lonely hour on the ice Sunday morning in Honda Center, working with a couple of scratches and a couple of Anaheim Ducks assistant coaches. He's still waiting for his season to begin.
The ex-Sabres star is 37 now, the backup to John Gibson on a team that once again has Stanley Cup aspirations. A wrist injury suffered early in training camp has shelved Miller thus far and he remains on injured reserve, so he won't be dressed for Sunday night's game against the Sabres.
"I was just working my timing out," Miller said. "I had to be away from shots to one side for two weeks so I'm just trying to build back."
Miller appeared in his 700th career game last year with the Canucks. He went 18-29-6 last season with a 2.80 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. He became the third U.S.-born goalie to get to 350 wins (he's now at 358), and joined Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist as the only active netminders to play 700 games.
Miller signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Ducks after spending the last three years in Vancouver. His wife, actress Noureen DeWulf, is based in Southern California and Miller has long been interested in playing in the area. Their son, Bodhi, is now 2 1/2.
"He's at that age where you've got to be there so this helps a lot, even though we do travel a lot," Miller said. "I was looking at it as an important part of my life. Hockey is critical but your family is made and I'm trying to make decisions for that and it worked out great."
The Ducks enter tonight's game 2-2-1, with Gibson going 2-1-1/2.80/.923 as the starter.
"This is a good team and I'll have a chance to contribute," said Miller. "I just want to get healthy and get things started for me. The guys are already five games in and I feel like I'm still kind of waiting to see how things are going to play out. I can't wait to get a chance to play. It's been an interesting preseason for me in that regard."