The Boston Bruins are parting ways with defenseman Mitchell Miller, the team announced Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:
- On Nov. 4, the Bruins signed Miller to an entry-level contract.
- Miller was selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft, but had his draft status revoked by the team after it was revealed he had been convicted in juvenile court of bullying.
- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Saturday that Boston did not consult the league before signing Miller and that he would need to see “a whole bunch of things” before hypothetically clearing him to play in the NHL.
- Bruins players spoke out on the signing Saturday. Nick Foligno said it is “hard for us to swallow,” with captain Patrice Bergeron adding that “The culture we built here goes against that type of behavior.”
What they’re saying
On Sunday, Bruins president Cam Neely released the following statement:
“Today the Boston Bruins have decided to part ways with Mitchell Miller, effective immediately,” the statement said. “The decision to sign this young man was made after careful consideration of the facts as we were aware of them: that at 14-years-old he made a poor decision that led to a juvenile conviction. We understood this to be an isolated incident and that he had taken meaningful action to reform and was committed to ongoing personal development. Based on that understanding we offered him a contract.
“Based on new information, we believe it is the best decision at this time to rescind the opportunity for Mitchell Miller to represent the Boston Bruins.”
Neely went on to apologize for this signing, saying that “this decision has overshadowed the incredible work the members of our organization do to support diversity and inclusion efforts.”
“We will continue to stand against bullying and racism in all of its forms.”
Neely apologized to Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black, developmentally disabled classmate who Miller admitted in an Ohio juvenile court to bullying.
“To Isaiah and his family, my deepest apologies if this signing made you and other victims feel unseen and unheard. We apologize for the deep hurt and impact we have caused.”
Bruins haven’t communicated with victim’s family
As of 9:50 p.m. on Sunday, 49 minutes after the Bruins issued their press release cutting ties with Miller, Joni Meyer-Crothers and Jamie Crothers had not heard directly from anybody from the Bruins. From beginning to end, this absence of communication has been central to the Bruins’ disastrous assessment of the situation.
“One hundred percent. One hundred percent,” Meyer-Crothers said when asked if a pre-signing exploratory call from the Bruins might have affected their decision.
Because the Bruins never called the family, they did not understand that Isaiah was subject to repeated mistreatment. In their release, Neely said their decision to part ways with Miller was “based on new information.” – Shinzawa
(Photo: David Kirouac / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)