By Matt Stefano
The 2020-2021 National Hockey League regular season has officially concluded for former Soo Thunderbirds Colin Miller and Jake Muzzin.
Miller just wrapped up this season with the Buffalo Sabres, who finished in last place in the National Hockey League for the first time since 2018.
Muzzin, meanwhile, is heading to the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finished sixth overall in the National Hockey League standings.
But as we enter postseason action in the NHL, let’s see what our two former Thunderbirds have been up to.
MILLER TIME FOR CANADA
He may not be playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year with the Buffalo Sabres, but he’s still getting a chance to play for a gold medal at the 2021 IIHF World Championship.
Former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Colin Miller has committed to play for Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, which is being held this year in Riga, Latvia from May 21 – June 6.
Miller, who just completed his sixth season in the National Hockey League, scored 4 times and set up 8 others in 48 games this past season with the last place Buffalo Sabres.
His 4 goals this past season were also the most goals he’s had since the 2017-2018 season, when he had 10 as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Miller, who is getting set to represent his country next week in Latvia, already has championship experience in his professional hockey career as he helped the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs win a Calder Cup back in 2015.
That season (2014-2015), the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native also set a pair of team records with the AHL’s Monarchs, including most goals (19) and most points (52) by a Monarch defenceman in a regular season.
Following that successful season with the Monarchs, Miller then entered the National Hockey League in the 2015-2016 season with the Boston Bruins.
The 28-year-old played one season with the Soo Thunderbirds back in 2009-2010, which was the year the Soo hosted the Dudley Hewitt Cup tournament.
Miller and Team Canada will play their first game of the tournament on Friday, May 21, when they take on the the host Team Latvia, beginning at 8:15 p.m.
MUZZ IN THE AIR
Former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Jake Muzzin and the Toronto Maple Leafs are getting set to take on the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Muzzin, who is currently in his ninth full season in the National Hockey League, scored 4 times and set up 23 others in 53 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2020-2021 regular season.
The Leafs also finished the 2020-2021 regular season with a record of 35 wins, 14 losses and 7 overtime losses, good for 77 points and sixth place in the National Hockey League standings.
The last time the Leafs finished sixth overall in the National Hockey League standings, was back in 1977-1978, when they finished off with 92 points.
Muzzin, who is a native of Woodstock, Ontario, played four games with the Soo Thunderbirds back in 2006-2007.
The 32-year-old blueliner also won a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings back in 2014.