With all due respect to Patrick Kane and Brian Rafalski, no two people contributed more to American hockey in the last season than goalie Ryan Miller and executive Brian Burke. It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that USA Hockey is honoring both at its President’s Awards Dinner on June 12, part of its 2010 Annual Congress.
Ryan Miller shall be this year’s recipient of the Bob Johnson award, named after the legendary coach nicknamed “Badger.” Along with producing an outstanding NHL season with the Buffalo Sabres (he contributed greatly even when Buffalo faltered in the playoffs, by the way), the American goalie made a name for himself with an outstanding Olympics performance.
Miller posted a tournament-best .946 save percentage in six games and his 1.35 goals-against average is the lowest in U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team history.
Brian Burke’s “day job” consists of working within the pressure cooker that is the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. The outspoken general manager will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award for his contributions to hockey in the U.S., obviously highlighted by his well-crafted silver medal winning U.S. Olympic team.
It’s great to see the two garner praise and kudos for their great work this season. Perhaps this won’t be the last trophy Miller receives this year since he has a great shot at winning the Vezina Trophy.