BUFFALO – Ryan Miller’s decision to sign with the Anaheim Ducks centered, in part, on his desire to be closer to his family.
The former Sabres goalie and his wife, Noureen DeWulf, an actress, have lived in the Los Angeles area with their 3-year-old son, Bodhi, for years. Naturally, coming home has eased some of the pressures that accompany the hectic NHL life.
Still, the Ducks often go on long road trips. They’ll finish a five-game swing tonight with Miller in goal, just his second appearance as a visitor at KeyBank Center.
When the Ducks leave town, Bodhi, of course, misses his father.
“You certainly realize how much kids need their parents when you’re on the road like this,” Miller said this morning. “The last two or three days he’s been mad at me. So FaceTime hasn’t been going so well. There’s been a lot of poor connections. ‘Poor connection, dad.’ Off.”
Yes, Bodhi really gets so angry he hangs up on his father.
“We’re gone a lot,” Miller said. “We were gone most of December and gone most of this month. These are times you miss out with time with your young son, wife. Those are still tough times, but it’s made it a little bit easier because our life in California.”
Following three seasons with Vancouver, Miller signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Ducks. The 15-year veteran, who was traded to St. Louis in 2013-14, only played here once with the Canucks, a 3-2 loss Nov. 7, 2015.
“It certainly was a little bit overwhelming at the time,” Miller said. “This time around, try to have a little bit more fun with it. I definitely tried to have fun last time, but it was a little bit more emotional.”
Tonight will be Miller’s fourth straight start. The 37-year-old former Vezina Trophy winner made 33 saves in Monday’s 7-4 loss in Toronto.
“I looked at the schedule and saw we were playing back-to-back and knew it would kind of be tough to catch up with some people,” Miller said.
Check back later for a full story on Miller, who’s 6-4-5 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .915 goals-against average in 18 games this season.