The Boston Bruins signed Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract on November 4 of last year, but there was controversy.
Miller, now 21, pleaded guilty at the age of 14 to one count of assault and violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act after he and another student abused a classmate.
The two forced Isaiah Meyer-Crothers to eat a lollipop after cleaning it in a bathroom urinal, and surveillance footage also showed they kicked and punched him. Miller was also found to call Meyer-Crothers, who is African-American and developmentally disabled, the N-word and «brownie» frequently.
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Despite the team saying they «will part ways» with Miller just two days after signing him, he remained under contract.
He New York Post he was told the team terminated its contract with Miller after he parted ways with him, but there was no record of him being placed on waivers as required by the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Even as recently as Saturday night, Miller was named to the team’s minor league roster on sites like CapFriendly and PuckPedia.
Then the NHLPA reportedly filed a complaint, and the Bruins and Miller ended up settling in February. Miller was then released, given an unknown sum, and granted free agency.
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Miller was selected in the fourth round of the draft by the Arizona Coyotes in 2016, but when more details of the assault became public in October 2020, the Coyotes relinquished his draft rights. He was later expelled from the University of North Dakota hockey team.
Bruins president Cam Neely said the organization «failed» in the vetting process of Miller, citing «new information» that led the team to rescind his contract offer. Neely said he learned the team did not speak to Meyer-Crothers or his family, which he found «very concerning.»
Meyer-Crothers noted that Miller recently apologized to him and that the apology «was not about hockey.» However, she said that in «mid-October» Miller had «texted [him] constantly every day until I answered a Snapchat and [Instagram] message» from Miller asking «why do I have parents who do things for me and why can’t I speak for myself.
Meyer-Crothers said Miller told him that «he was doing things in the community and helping young people and he wanted to be my friend.» But when Meyer-Crothers requested proof of her service to the community, Miller was unable to provide any.
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The Bruins set all-time NHL records for most wins (65) and points (135) in a single season, but their quest for a Stanley Cup ended with a stunning first-round loss to the Florida Panthers, immediately ending any consideration of that team as the greatest team in NHL history.