This was certainly predictable, as the 33-year-old endured an abundance of serious injuries. This was especially the case during his last three seasons with the club. In 2018-19, he was limited to just 39 games and then would miss all of the following season, too. This was of course due to breaking his kneecap on two different occasions.
Yet, Miller not only shockingly returned this season, but seemed to come back as an even better player. He played with that great deal of toughness that made Bruins fans fall in love with him in the first place. Had he not been injured this postseason, perhaps things could have worked out differently against the Islanders. However, that does not matter now. What’s done is done.
Miller deserves so much respect for his time with the Bruins
When looking back at Miller’s journey to the NHL, it is fair to state it was originally rocky. He was undrafted, but ended up becoming a key shutdown defenseman for the University of Vermont. In fact, he even was their captain for two seasons. All of this would lead the Bruins to sign him after his senior year at the school. This also coincidentally occurred during the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup season. What a nice year it turned out to be, eh?
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It took Miller some time to end up making the NHL club, though. His two-way play blossomed during his time in Providence, and he would finally get called up during the 2013-14 season. He left such a good impression with his hard work ethic that he suited up for 11 postseason games that same year. At this point, he was already 26 and hope of an NHL career was in jeopardy. Yet, he overcame the odds and became a mainstay in their top-six.
He would become the much-needed eventual replacement of fellow rugged right-hander, Adam McQuaid. Miller not only played a similar style to him, but also would grow into a very nice bottom-pair defenseman in the process. He also became a key component of the team’s penalty kill.
Truthfully, I was hoping Miller would be able to return for one last season,primarily in a smaller role. When healthy this season, he played extremely well and noticeably made a difference on the backend. When he was gone, the team was far more fragile and did not have the depth to replace him.
It was always a true joy watching him stand up for his teammates at every single turn, too. Even with all of the big injuries, he would get into multiple fights this season. He was the definition of a true Bruin. A real warrior.
Yet, like they say, all good things must come to an end. Miller had one heck of a career and his presence will be missed immensely. Who would have thought that a small college signing would work out so nicely in the end?