Skip to main content

When hockey scout Paul Henry returned to his Ontario home the other day, he found a package waiting for him containing a puck with the number 139 written on it.



The puck came from Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, who sent 139 such packages with an explanatory letter to friends and associates across North America.



"Being a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team was a dream come true," Miller wrote. "The Olympics was everything I thought it would be and more. … As a gesture of my appreciation for helping me make my Olympic dream come true, I have endorsed a special Olympic hockey puck."

Story continues below advertisement



The 139 represents the number of saves Miller made at the Vancouver Olympic tournament playing for the U.S. side, which lost the gold-medal game to Canada.



"I wish I was signing it with at least one more puck," Miller added, who was beaten by Sidney Crosby in overtime.



Henry was the first scout to recognize Miller's abilities and tout him as a sure-fire NHLer.



"It was at a tournament in Lake Placid, where many Olympic dreams were born," Henry said. "He was in his draft year, and playing for the Soo Indians of the North American Hockey League. But he was playing for the U.S. when I saw him. It was clear how great this kid's future would be."



Henry later worked for the Florida Panthers and tried to get the NHL team to draft Miller. Instead, the Sabres selected Miller having never scouted him. They simply took the word of agent Mike Liut and drafted him in the fifth round (138th overall) in 1999.



"That [Miller]would send out 139 pucks to people to say thanks for the Olympics tells you the kind of guy he is," Henry said.



Miller was outstanding last Thursday, making 38 saves as the Sabres beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the opening game of their quarter-final playoff series. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is tonight.

Story continues below advertisement

The No. 139 represents the number of saves Miller made at the Olympic tournament playing in goal for the U.S. side, which lost the gold medal to Canada.

"I wish I was signing it with at least one more puck," Miller added, who was beaten by Sidney Crosby in overtime.

Henry was the first scout to recognize Miller's abilities and tout him as a sure-fire NHLer.

"It was at a tournament in Lake Placid, where many Olympic dreams were born," said Henry. "He was in his draft year and playing for the Soo Indians of the North American Hockey League. But he was playing for the U.S. when I saw him. It was clear how great this kid's future would be."

Henry later worked for the Florida Panthers and tried to get NHL team to draft Miller. Instead, the Buffalo Sabres selected Miller having never scouted him. They simply took the word of Miller's agent, Mike Liut, and drafted him in the fifth round (138th overall) in 1999.

"That (Miller) would send out 139 pucks to people to say thanks for the Olympics tells you the kind of guy he is," said Henry.

Story continues below advertisement

Miller was outstanding Thursday night making 38 saves as the Sabres beat the Boston Bruins in the opening game of their quarter-final playoff series.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Sports writer

Allan Maki is a national news reporter and sports writer based in Calgary. He joined the Globe and Mail in 1997 with an extensive sports background having covered Stanley Cup finals, the Grey Cup, Summer and Winter Olympics, the 1980 Miracle on Ice, the 1989 Super Bowl riot and the 1989 earthquake World Series. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Globe Newsletters

Get a summary of news of the day

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.