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Talk of the Town

Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 6:14 PM / Features
By Derek Jory
When Ryan Miller’s introductory press conference wrapped up Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Arena, his wife Noureen DeWulf breathed a sigh of relief.

During the 20-minute presser, in which Miller officially joined the Vancouver Canucks, he didn’t mumble once.

“He’s a mumbler sometimes,” giggled DeWulf, “and we’ve been working on his fashion sense.”

To be fair, DeWulf, a 30-year-old actress from New York who stars alongside Charlie Sheen in the FX show Anger Management, was put on the spot, asked what drives her nuts about her husband of nearly three-years.

Other than an occasional mumble and an untucked shirt here and there, there’s a lot to love about Miller, Vancouver’s new man between the pipes.

The 33-year-old Michigan product, who was originally drafted by Jim Benning in Buffalo in the fifth round, 138th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, spent last season between the Sabres and St. Louis Blues.

In 559 career NHL games, Miller has a 294-194-60 record, a 2.59 GAA (.915%) and 29 shutouts. His 294 career wins place him tied for 31st all-time among NHL goaltenders and fourth among active goaltenders. He’s won the Vezina trophy, has played in two Winter Olympic Games and at three World Championships.

Miller has proven he can stand on his head, he’s amped for the challenge of competing in a Canadian market and he wants to win. Now.

“It became an easy choice when Vancouver reached out, I was excited just hearing about the initial interaction between my agent and the team,” said Miller.

“You want to play for a team that wants you and also aligns with the way you work and how you play. Attitude-wise, management was great and this community, team and organization has had a great reputation, so for my wife and I it’s an exciting opportunity to be in a great place.”

Miller hasn’t met with Vancouver’s coaching staff yet so his role and workload have yet to be determined; he talked to Eddie Lack via Twitter, but has never met the Canucks goaltender, the only connections he has in the locker room are with Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian.

The details of the Ryan Miller era in Vancouver will become apparent soon, until then he and his wife are enjoying being on the same coast for the first time in forever.

The couple met in 2009 through actor/director Timothy Busfield, who grew up with Ryan’s father Dean. The pair went on a blind date, fell in love, broke it off because of distance, then eventually gave into the universe’s plan and started dating.

Now just a two-hour flight separates them while DeWulf works in Los Angeles.

A “bonus” was how Miller described their proximity.

DeWulf said it’s “the best.”

“This city is amazing, it’s gorgeous and metropolitan and it’s close to my home in LA, so I’m looking forward to being close for once,” said DeWulf, who gave some insight into the Ryan Miller she knows better than most.

“Ryan is probably the most dependable and kind person you’ll ever meet. I don’t say that lightly or because I’m married to him. I’ve never met somebody so steadfast in his values and morals and his work ethic is something that I’m constantly inspired by, I’ve never been around someone who works as hard as he does.”

That work ethic will hopefully lead to wins, which will lead to Miller becoming a fan favourite in no time. Vancouver has a history of being rough on goaltenders and Miller is prepared for the scrutiny – he seems to be welcoming it, actually.

“It’s great that there’s so much interest here. The fans are so passionate and they’re genuinely interested in the team and that can bring a team together and closer; if you’re going to play in a city that cares a lot, every game is important, they all mean something and you have to be ready for that.”

Be ready for more Canucks signings the next few days. With Vancouver’s goaltending situation settled, it’s time to shore up the offence, according to Benning. Stay tuned.