The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/28/13 at 12:16 PM ET
Red Wings forward Drew Miller's usually escapes the spotlight, but the New Jersey-born, East Lansing-raised Wings grinder received quite a bit of attention from NHL.com, with Kathryn Tappen engaging in a wide-ranging Q and A with Miller that covers his thoughts on playing in the Winter Classic...
Kathryn Tappen: Big game coming up for you! The stage is set for New Year's Day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor for the [2014 Bridgestone NHL] Winter Classic. How much are you looking forward to that game?
Drew Miller: It's going to be an exciting game. To think that over 100,000 fans will be watching is completely overwhelming to even think about. We skated at Comerica Park last week for practice and it's a bit different skating outside. The rink seems so small, to think that the football stadium is way bigger than that is going to be quite an adjustment. The game itself will be such an incredible experience to be a part of. Seeing that it's Michigan, that will be an adjustment for me as a Michigan State guy. That's foreign territory for me. Me and [Red Wings teammate Justin] Abdelkader haven't quite figured out what we're going to do yet. We may have to wear something Michigan State underneath our gear for morning skate.
His hockey upbringing...
KT: Your family moved around a lot when you were growing up in order to be involved in elite youth hockey. Tell me about how that affected you?
DM: My parents definitely put the time in for us to commit the time for us to play. I lived in East Lansing [Michigan] a couple of different times; we lived towards Detroit at one point. I actually played for Honeybaked in Detroit for almost seven years, and we commuted from East Lansing an hour to practices and games four days a week.
And some surprising thoughts on his status as a Stanley Cup-winning...Anaheim Duck:
KT: Your career in the NHL began with a Stanley Cup in Anaheim. Not too bad! Tell me what that year was like for you.
DM: It was my first year pro so I spent most of the year in the minors in Portland. They called me up for the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs and I played Game 5, the clinching game in the first round against Minnesota. I didn't play the next two rounds. Then Chris Kunitz broke his hand the last game of the [Western] Conference Final, so they put me in with Andy McDonald and Teemu Selanne -- and what a line! It was Game 2 and a bit overwhelming for me. To think that I was playing with those two guys in the Stanley Cup Final was surreal. I played well, and I think the best part of the experience for me was to be around the locker room with a team who ultimately wins the Stanley Cup. In that locker room was Selanne, Rob and Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Corey] Perry, the list goes on. I learned lessons throughout the whole playoffs that made me the player I am today.
The Q and A continues, and it inevitably touches upon the City of Detroit's municipal bankruptcy.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.