By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller's last 14 months and change have been a complete nightmare.
Injured in the penultimate game of the 2018-19 regular season with a broken kneecap, the hardworking Miller's countless attempts to return to game action have only ended in additional procedures. It happened during the 2019 postseason, early in the regular season, and as recently as a couple of months ago. For every step forward, there's without fail been two steps backwards.
And though the 32-year-old isn't ready to call it quits, he did admit that he's a little concerned with where it's trending.
"I'd be lying to you if I wasn’t worried like, 'Hey I don’t know how this is all gonna end up,'" Miller, currently in Colorado, admitted on a Zoom call on Wednesday. "But it's part of my job and my passion.
"I want to be healthy. I want to play. I know I could help the team. And it's a tough pill to swallow when you’re showing up to the rink and you can't skate with the guys, and it's been so long since you've played in a game."
It's been 440 days since Miller last played in a game for the Bruins. Break it down by games missed and it's 95 straight absences for Miller. But it's hardly been for a lack of trying, and his efforts were enough for the Boston chapter of the PHWA to vote Miller as Boston's nominee for the 2019-20 Masterton Trophy.
Miller called the nomination a 'true honor' amid what's been an obviously and impossibly grating experience.
"It’s been a long haul," said Miller. "It’s taken a toll for sure; mentally, physically, it’s definitely taken a toll. It’s been a long road, but I’m trying to keep things in perspective. I’m able to walk around and spend some time with family and starting to exercise again and starting to feel a little bit somewhat normal again."
As for what's next, no one's quite sure if this will finally be the procedure that allows him to get back to normal on the ice.
But Miller, who is a pending unrestricted free agent, will remain working for the opportunity.
"I’m not losing hope on [playing] at all. If anything, it’s pushed me to push more and know that I’m doing it the right way," offered Miller. "I’m hoping to get back to 100 percent and rejoin the team at some point and get back to playing hockey."