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Sabres to induct Ryan Miller into team hall of fame and raise No. 30 to KeyBank Center rafters next season

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Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller makes a save on the Devils' Adam Henrique in March 2013.

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No. 30 is going to the rafters of KeyBank Center.

The Buffalo Sabres will be retiring the jersey of goaltender Ryan Miller and inducting him into the Sabres Hall of Fame prior to a game next season, the team announced Friday. 

Miller will become the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Tim Horton (2), Richard Martin (7), Gilbert Perreault (11), Rene Robert (14), Pat LaFontaine (16), Danny Gare (18) and Dominik Hasek (39). The team has also hung banners for former owners Seymour and Northrup Knox as well as broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, whose banner that features a microphone was hung as part of an elaborate pregame ceremony on April 1.

There is no date for Miller's ceremony, as the team is still awaiting the release of the NHL's 2022-23 schedule. That's expected to be next month during the week of the NHL Draft in Montreal. The team's hall of fame has been dormant since 2014 and Miller will be the first player from the post-lockout 2000s era to be inducted. 

"Ryan Miller embodied what people in Western New York expect from those who wear a Buffalo Sabres uniform: On-ice excellence, commitment, and authentic love for this community," Sabres General Ganager Kevyn Adams said in a statement. "His lasting relationship with the people here in Buffalo remains a standard we strive to follow every day. We are thrilled for Ryan to take his rightful place alongside his fellow Sabres legends and look forward to celebrating his career."

Miller was informed of the honor Friday morning in the arena through a video on the jumbotron narrated by Jeanneret. Miller came to town this week for a press conference to introduce the Class of 2022 for the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and said Wednesday at Riverworks he wanted to take his 7-year-old son, Bodhi, to KeyBank Center to show him where he played for the Sabres from 2002-2014.

The Sabres tweeted a video showing Adams escorting Miller's family on to the concrete floor where the ice is installed each season and then watching the scoreboard to get the news as employees applauded from the 200 level.

"In five-plus decades, no player has worn the Buffalo Sabres' sweater with more authenticity, intensity and pride than you did for 12 unforgettable years," Jeanneret said in the video. "Believe me, I've seen them all."

The broadcaster then informed Miller of the honors he will receive to celebrate his "career and significance to our community."

"I can tell you there is no greater honor to share with the fans here in Buffalo," Jeanneret said. "Welcome to the club. Welcome home."

Miller will join Hasek as the only goalies to have their numbers retired by the Sabres and the duo owns virtually every franchise record in the Buffalo net. 

Miller holds team records in games played by a goaltender (540), wins (284), and saves (14,847). His 28 shutouts as a Sabre are second only to Hasek's 55. After being traded by the Sabres in 2014, Miller played for St. Louis, Vancouver and Anaheim. He retired in 2021 as the all-time leader in victories by an American goaltender with 391. That's No. 14 on the all-time NHL list, two ahead of Hasek.   

"Coming here and playing hockey was a dream come true," Miller said through the Sabres. "Playing for a great organization and building something with a great group of guys, but then to also feel at home in the city was important to me and to make myself a member of the community where I could give back in different way.

"A big part of my time here was interacting with people, actually living life here and not just coming to the rink and going away. I was happy that I was always involved and out and about and felt connected. It really was a great home."

While Miller's career on the ice in Buffalo was notable for four trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the 2010 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender, his philanthropic work also endeared him to the community and he was named the NHL Foundation Player of the Year in 2010.

Miller is most remembered for his work through his Steadfast Foundation, which he founded in 2006 to help raise money for childhood cancer research. His annual "Catwalk for Charity" event became one of the team's key social events of the season and benefited the Courage of Carly Club at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Miller will become the 43rd member of the Sabres Hall of Fame, which honors players, coaches and numerous club contributors. The last inductee was Hasek in 2014. Jeanneret was inducted in 2012 along with the late Dale Hawerchuk. 

Miller will be inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame at its annual induction dinner, which has traditionally been in October. No date for that function has been announced. Miller lives in Southern California and it's unclear if the Sabres will pair their ceremony on a night the same week as the GBSHOF event, which will be held in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

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