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Ryan Miller says pandemic may force retirement this offseason

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

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While Anaheim Ducks backup goaltender Ryan Miller hopes to keep playing hockey next season, the COVID-19 pandemic could push him to call it quits earlier than expected.

"I mean the desire is there, but there's going to be a lot of factors. First of all, we're all going to have to address this new normal. What that means for sports and life - and wrapped up in that is family and how family is going to need to be taken care of during this time," Miller said to Sportsnet's Gene Principe. "There's a lot of talk here in California that schools are not going to be fully in session possibly into next year, that changes the dynamic around the house and what needs to happen and what's important."

The 39-year-old netminder has spent 17 seasons in the NHL, most recently serving as the backup in Anaheim over the past three years. Miller has performed well with the Ducks, appearing in 71 games while compiling a 29-19-12 record with a .916 save percentage and a 2.72 goals-against average.

Miller turned in the best years of his career with the Buffalo Sabres, where he spent 11 seasons from 2002-14. He took home the Vezina Trophy in 2010 and put together an impressive 284-186-57 record with a .916 save percentage and a 2.58 goals-against average with the franchise.

While he believes he still has some gas left in the tank, Miller knows the evolving situation may force his hand.

"Hockey is very important to me but I'm trying to be realistic," he said. "I'm at the tail end of a long career and I would love to play so I'm going to hum and haw for you guys. I really like to play, it's a lot of fun, but I really want to see where things end up."

Miller, who will turn 40 in July, is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign.

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