March 28, 2016

Tom Miller

Big and strong and a good skater, Tom Miller was an excellent youth and junior B player in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario.

But Miller was unlike most star youth hockey players back in the 1960s. He was not destined to play junior hockey but rather he went to the University of Denver.

It was still quite unusual for NCAA players to advance to the National Hockey League at that time. But the University of Denver Pioneers lived up to their name as several players from that powerhouse school program would make it to the NHL in following years. Cliff Koroll, Keith Magnuson and Craig Patrick were among Miller's teammates.

Powerhouse is the only word to describe that Pioneers team. In Miller's final two seasons at the school they won back to back national championships. Somehow Miller found time to earn a degree in civil engineering, too.

Miller decided to give pro hockey a try rather than get a real job. It was a smart move as he enjoyed six pro seasons, mostly in the Central and American leagues. But Miller also got into 29 games with the Detroit Red Wings in 1970-71 followed by a total of 89 games over three seasons with the New York Islanders. In total he scored 16 goals, 25 assists and 41 points.

After hanging up his skates Miller moved his family home to Southern Ontario where owned a farm. He also found a new passion - making custom furniture, restoring antiques and learning cabinetry making. He spent the next 30 years building custom hardwood furniture for a living.

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