While his teammates watch ESPN's SportsCenter and check NHL.com, Kevin Miller watches CNN's MoneyLine and navigates Bloomberg.com.
Obviously, Miller is not a typical athlete. He is blending a career as a broker for Salomon Smith Barney in East Lansing, Mich., with a talent for hockey that includes playing 12 years in the National Hockey League.
Miller, who lead Michigan State University to the NCAA Championship in 1987 and played for the U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1988, scored 20 or more goals in the NHL four times. But at the age of 35, he was unable to secure a spot on an NHL team. Still, he wasn't ready to give up the game he loves. So he signed a contract to play for Hockey Club Davos, a professional team in Switzerland.
“I can't begin to explain how beautiful it is here,” Miller says by telephone from his home in Davos, an idyllic ski town framed by a magnificent panoramic mountain view. “It's like playing in Aspen or Vail.
“I never dreamed I'd love playing here so much,” he says. “It's been more fun than I ever imaged. I had hoped to get back to the NHL, but I'm starting to realize that at my age it's going to be very tough. So I'm planning to play another couple of years with Davos, then hang it up and become a full-time broker.”
There's no question Miller has a few good years left. He led the Swiss Elite League with 29 goals (in only 36 games), helping Davos to one of its best seasons in years. When the playoffs started in March, the team was one of the title favorites, but it was upset in the first round.
So Miller, who conducts business via e-mail and telephone with his partner, Tim Lilleboe, during the seven-month season in Switzerland, is now back in Michigan at SSB.
Miller, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward, comes from one of the United States' most famous hockey families. Miller and his brothers, Kip and Kelly, are among the best players in Michigan State's hockey history.
In 1990, Kip won the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey's top player, and has been playing in the NHL for 10 years. Kelly, an All-American at Michigan State in 1985, played 12 years with the Washington Capitals and is now an assistant coach with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Kevin wrapped up his college career as Michigan State's 12th all-time leading scorer and sixth all-time assist man.
After playing for the U.S. Olympic team, Miller launched a pro career that included playing for the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators. He played in 616 NHL games, scored 150 goals and had 183 assists.
He is described by veteran NHL announcer and former coach Don Cherry as “a tough, scrappy player who plays his heart out and lays it all out on the line to win.”
Says Miller: “I've been very fortunate. I've won an NCAA Championship, represented the United States in the Olympics and played in the NHL with superstars like Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Brett Hull. I also got to play with my brothers [in the NHL], and now I'm playing in one of the prettiest places in the world. What more could I ask for?”
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