Building the Herd – Joe MillerPosted: 07/06/2011
#?? Joe Miller
Born: Caerdydd, Wales
Announced as signed: Bison website, 6th June
With people trying to guess who would fill up the final 2 spots on the Bison roster, Steve Moria has put any and all rumours to bed with the announcement that the final British player to join the Herd’s roster is Joe Miller.
The 26 year old Cardiff born Miller joins Basingstoke having split last season between Peterborough and Manchester. He started the season with the Phantoms scoring 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points in 34 games before heading north to the Phoenix. With Tony Hand’s side, Miller appeared in 17 games scoring 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in helping the side pick up their first EPL league title.
Miller came through the Cardiff junior system before breaking out with Telford Tigers in 2006 with a 62 point season. Miller moved into the EIHL with the Phoenix before coming back to the EPL with Peterborough. Miller scored 88 points in 54 games as part of the Phantoms 2008-09 treble winning side and in 267 career EPL games boasts 159 goals and 197 assists for a total of 356 points.
Miller also has international caps at U18 and U20 levels, winning the gold with GB in 2004 at the U20 Division 2B Worlds in 2004.
After the meet and greet signings, some people weren’t overly enthused with how the Bison roster was looking. Some felt that there had been too many unproven ENL players signed and felt that the Bison were destined for mid table obscurity. Others waited to hear about the last 2 signings. Now whilst the rumours and speculation about the final import rage on, I felt we needed a proven top 6 forward. We really needed a British player with a proven track record in scoring and I was a tiny bit concerned as to who we’d end up signing. In Mo we trust.
Miller is a quality signing at EPL level as the stats and history prove. He can play top 6 minutes and put the puck in the back of the net as well as set the plays up and get into corners to dig the puck out as needed. Knowing how Moria likes to shuffle lines, if Mo moved Wiggins to the top line to act as a power forward then Miller can be shifted onto the 3rd line to add scoring punch across all three lines. Miller allows an element of flexibility to Moria in terms of how to set out the attack.
Point production is obviously down last season compared to his previous seasons. There were some comments made about his attitude and “what Joe Miller will the Bison get?” from fans of Peterborough and Manchester on THF as well. When somebody moves mid season there are always these questions. Miller was still averaging a point a game when he left Peterborough but perhaps he didn’t like Curtis Cruickshank’s system or the coach or both. Either way when you leave a team in 6th and the team who eventually wins the league title is the side that picks you up, you’re probably doing alright.
This move is one that makes sense. Bison have signed a proven winner and point scorer to add some extra punch in the top 2 lines. Miller replaces Davies in that spot so he will see a lot of shifts as well as powerplay and penalty kill time which, as at 26 you’d think he’s heading towards his best years, is only a good thing for the Herd’s attacking fortunes. Hopefully Miller will settle into Moria’s system and relish the amount of icetime he will get because if Miller works and clicks with his linemates, the scoreboard is going to tick over regularly.
So, only one more signing to go and it’s the last import forward. Will it be Lauko? Will it be Kubenko? Will it be someone else? The guessing continues. Until then welcome to the Herd, Joe. It’s great to have you on board.