After an injury-riddled last three years, Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller announced his retirement Wednesday morning.
“I fell in love with this game at five years old, I knew then that all I wanted to be was a hockey player. 28 years later, I have the same love and joy for the sport as I did then,” Miller said in an Instagram post. “Hockey has given me so much and I am grateful for every bit of it. The ups and downs, the relationships forged in the opportunity to make a living out of something I love so much, the list goes on and on. Although my spirit for the game is there, unfortunately, my body isn’t. My overall health and my family are now the priority. This is not an easy decision to make but it’s time to hang up my skates.”
Since breaking his left kneecap back on April 6, 2019 and missing the entire Bruins’ run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, Kevan Miller broke the kneecap again training in the 2019 offseason and has only been able to play 78 of a possible 175 regular season games. After playing 28 games (one goal; three assists) this past regular season, Miller was concussed in Game 4 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, compliments of a cheap shot from Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov, and did not return for the rest of the Bruins’ postseason run. In his end of the season media Zoom call, Kevan Miller told reporters that he would’ve been cleared to play a Game 7, had the Bruins not been eliminated by the New York Islanders after losing Game 6 on June 9.
“Yeah, I took the impact test on Wednesday. …skated with the guys on Tuesday and took the impact test Wednesday and was cleared for contact Thursday I most likely would’ve been ready to go and cleared for Game 7,” Miller said.
Kevan Miller was non-committal then on what his future would be.
“You want to play every game you can,” Miller said on June 11. “That was my goal this year. Obviously, that didn’t happen. It’s something I gotta discuss with my family and we’ll go from there.”
Clearly, and rightfully so, that discussion resulted in the 33-year-old, 6-foot-2, 210-pound rearguard choosing family and health over likely more frustrating and injury-filled seasons. Even though his NHL career was riddled with injuries and setbacks, Kevan Miller can hold his head high after a career filled with perseverance. After growing up in the greater Los Angeles area, Miller moved to Western Massachusetts in 2005 to play for the Berkshire Academy school. He went to the University of Vermont without a scholarship in 2007, made the hockey team as a walk-on, and eventually got the scholarship.
He was then signed as an undrafted free agent by the Providence Bruins prior to the Boston Bruins’ 2010-11 Stanley Cup season and made his NHL debut in the 2013-14 regular season. After playing the first 19 games of the season with Providence, Miller made the jump for good, playing 47 games for the Boston Bruins that season. Miller became the physical force the Bruins needed on the third pairing and a leader in the dressing room. Kevan Miller finished his career with 71 points, 776 hits, and 571 blocked shots in 352 games.