As part of our Ducks Summer Q&A series, we’re catching up with several players to see how their offseasons are going, their outlooks for this coming season and more. Next up: Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller.
How has your summer been?
Offseason has been really nice. We’ve been able to travel because our little guy, Bodhi, is four years old now. We did a lot more with him, and traveled quite a bit. We did a trip to Atlanta to see [wife] Noureen’s family, and then a couple weeks later, at the end of May, we went to London and Paris. Took the train from London to Paris. Spent time in the big cities in Europe. Walked around. Bodhi was there for everything, so it was a lot of fun.
Was this the first time you had the chance to travel extensively with your son on vacation?
He’s pretty well-traveled, but not so much in that regard. His travel has been mainly to catch up with family or, early in his life, bouncing around between Vancouver and LA. He’s experienced on the travel front, but not the vacation front. It’s not easy to travel with kids, but he’s at a good age where he’s excited to see some stuff. When we were in London, we saw the Tower of London and he was into all the armor and swords. We took him to Stonehenge on a day trip, so he got to run around there for a while. Paris is one of my favorite cities. You get to walk anywhere in Paris and there’s something interesting to look at or do. I spent a lot of time carrying him around, so that was part of my offseason training. [Laughs]. We made sure we were active by trying to do some stuff.
Any more trips planned before summer ends?
I’ll be going to Michigan. We’re going to be visiting family. We’re going to catch the [Cam] Fowler wedding, too. We’ve been doing one big trip once a month. We also had a trip with Noureen’s sisters in Mexico. It’s been busy.
At what point do you start ramping up your offseason training program?
In the weight room, you try to ramp it up a little earlier. I jumped my timeline with that based on my past season dealing with a recovery from a knee injury. I spent a lot of my time in-season in the weight room grinding it out. I took a break from the real intense stuff and took some time to heal. Mainly doing functional stuff to make sure I’m doing my rehabilitation. Dropping in and visiting with the training staff generally around once a week throughout the summer. Just keeping active.
Ryan, son Bodhi and wife Noureen pose for a photo in front of the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous monuments in Paris. (Photo courtesy of the Miller family)
Have you resumed skating?
I was happy to be able to re-sign with the team, so I dropped in last week for some skating with Getzy [Ryan Getzlaf]. That was his first time on the ice, and probably my sixth or seventh time on the ice. That was good, just the two of us getting a workout in. I plan to be down there this week. I’m skating three days at the rink near my place, and then I’m going to come down for a day.
There has been some change with the club this offseason, notably the hiring of Dallas Eakins as head coach. Did he reach out to you?
He reached out immediately. Dallas is a great communicator. We had a nice discussion and caught up for lunch at the new training facility. It’s been nice to hear he’s been taking the time to do this with as many guys who are around as he can, and he’s been contacting the guys who aren’t in town. I think he’s going to do a great job. He has a lot of experience coaching. He brings a different approach. When you’re transitioning from one coach – and the way we did it last year transitioning from a coach to a general manager – it’s going to be a good transition. The guys are ready to hear the plan moving forward. That’s what Bob [Murray] was getting at by taking his time. He got a guy who has a plan in place.
It seems like something as little as meeting for lunch went a long way.
It’s really nice. Every coach has a different style. Dallas seems to rely on communication and building trust. The players have a belief and a trust in the plan and where it can lead them. I think we’re off to a good start. We have to give him as much energy in return. It’s good. He’s the kind of guy who you feel like you have to repay the energy he’s putting out.
After signing a one-year extension in June, and hearing your thoughts on Eakins, it sounds like you’re excited for the upcoming season.
Yeah. I’m excited to be back. I was coming off a two-year contract. I guess I’m now the oldest goalie in the league with Roberto [Luongo] retiring. [Laughs]. I thought about how that could be a factor. Last year could’ve been my last season. I was well aware of that. I wanted to evaluate if I could move forward, and I was hoping I could move forward with the Ducks. It was really good I was able to forge the kind of relationships I needed to with the team to enjoy myself while I was there, but also have the organization feel like I could help contribute. It’s been a good partnership with me and Gibby [John Gibson]. I’m excited to be a part of a new direction for sure.