Drew Miller came to the Red Wings via Waivers from Tampa Bay during the 09' season. He was averaging around 13-14 minutes and eating up PK time for the Lightning but there was interest in bringing up a Right-Handed shot from within there own prospect pool which forced Miller to be placed on Waivers. It was thought Miller wouldn't last too long as a full-time NHLer at this point.
Fast forward to the 2011-12 season, Drew Miller has become a mainstay on one of the top rosters in the league.
Playing on the top line, and some nights carrying it, Miller has shown the hands of Pavel Datsyuk and the speed of Darren Helm. His smarts almost rival that of Nick Lidstroms. He has developed into a bona fide superstar. Miller has truly become one of our many "diamonds in the rough" and fits the bill of "Project player turned Red Wings star".
Okay that's not exactly how things turned out for Miller, but wouldn't it be wonderful?
Here are Drew Miller's 2011-12 stats:
GP • 42
G • 7
A • 7
P • 14
GP • 50
G • 8
A • 10
P • 18
I truly didn't think Miller would solidify a spot in the lineup like he has. Moving above Eaves and sometimes, although rarely, getting ice time in the Top 6. My pace was relatively close, in terms of points to games ratio but it looks like Miller will see 75+ games barring some sort of injury.
I wasn't exactly happy with the re-signing of Miller during the off-season. Hoping the Wings Brass would give some youngsters a chance or sign a Vet who hasn't won the cup and wants to leave everything out on the ice. When I found out we signed him I started thinking the Wings would expose Miller to Waivers at some point with high number of NHL quality forwards the Wings had.
Now, more than half way through the season, I've been wrong on both fronts. Not only was I wrong, but I've been extremely happy with the game Miller has brought night in and night out.
Are there better options on the market? Sure. Are there better options in our own system? Definitely. But Miller brings something not many do, and that's a relatively mistake free defensive game. He's a bottom liner you don't have to be afraid to put out on the ice. When the playoffs roll around, that is exactly what you want and what you need.
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