You are not misreading that.
Remember our story of how Battle Creek tried to get a Federal Hockey League team for the 2017-18 season, lead by Lawrence Miller?
The veteran and former FHL goaltender heads to Moscow on May 27 to try out in a Kontinental Hockey League training camp.
What’s more, he was invited to this by NHL Hall-of-Famer Igor Larionov – who has even publicly donated $300 to his campaign.
For those who don’t know, the KHL is considered the second-most premier hockey league in the world, next to only the National Hockey League. Some would argue that they may almost be one in the same.
Needless to say, a bit of a jump for any Minor League Hockey player, let alone in the FHL.
To understand this a bit more, let’s back up and look at the life of Miller leading up to this point.
Miller is from the small town of Mattawan, Michigan just west of Kalamazoo. A lifelong hockey player, as is common in the Mitten State, Miller showed proficiency early on as a goaltender, and quickly became an accomplished youth hockey player.
Through his abilities and quickly gaining notoriety, Miller was scouted and eligible to be drafted into the Ontario Hockey League. After talking with his family, this was not the path that he would choose to pursue, so that he could get an education and play hockey at the NCAA level.
Life however, would have different plans for Miller, as he chose to join the United States Marine Corps. as a Paratrooper.
“I had to walk away from the game that I loved, and knew my entire life would change. I made this choice because I wanted to push myself in some of the most unfathomable conditions and training, to achieve what many had said to be impossible,” said Miller “Even with the crowds of doubters I achieved what few can achieve while serving their country.”
Unfortunately, the sacrifice he made for his country did damage to his body, and doctors feared that he would never be able to play hockey again.
“My service ended due to suffering multiple severe injuries, resulting in multiple surgeries, casts, wheelchairs and ultimately having to learn how to walk again.”
This didn’t stop Miller. He came back from his tour of duty, and immediately put in the work necessary to rehabilitate his body, and at the age of 23, became a freshman walk-on at Robert Morris University (ACHA).
Eventually he transferred to Canisius College (ACHA) where he studied Sport Management and played one year, sporting a 5.33 GAA and .880 save percentage in 13 games played.
From there, he was scouted, and eventually signed, into the FHL.
“I didn’t give up and accomplished what many told me I would never be able to do: playing the game that I love,” said Miller “I am now back and working harder than ever in order to continue pursuing my dreams but to also see my life story as an opportunity to inspire others.”
From there, he went on to pursue the founding of a team, before deciding he wasn’t done yet with his playing career.
Now at 30-years-old, Miller will finally have his shot at high-level professional hockey, as he heads to the hub of Eastern Hemisphere hockey in Moscow with his agent, looking to continue his destiny.
We’ll keep you updated with the next story of this comeback story for Lawrence Miller, from youth prodigy, to Marine veteran who may never play again, to college and pro hockey, and now looking to join the ranks of one of the highest hockey leagues in the world.
As Miller himself cites as one of his personal philosophies for life and hockey: “Never Give Up”.
To support Miller’s pursuits towards the KHL and his journey, consider donating to his Go Fund Me.