Cam Neely, Bruins president, says team ‘failed’ by deciding to sign Mitchell Miller

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said on Monday that the team signing prospect Mitchell Miller was one of the biggest mistakes that he’s made during his time in the team’s front office.

“I’m extremely upset that we have made a lot of people unhappy with our decision,” Neely said during a press conference. “I take a lot of pride in the Bruins organization and what we stand for, and we failed there.”

The Bruins signed the 20-year old defenseman to an entry-level contract of Friday and were expected to have him play for the franchise’s AHL affiliate in Providence. However, on Sunday night, the team announced that they were parting ways with Miller after the signing was met with tremendous backlash from several Bruins players, fans and even NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman stated before the Bruins parted ways with him that he was unsure if Miller would “ever be eligible to come into the NHL.”

Miller was initially selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes, but his draft rights were relinquished after a story came to light about how Miller and a middle school classmate were convicted in juvenile court in 2016 for bullying and assaulting Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate that was disabled.

Meyer-Crothers’ mother alleged that Miller had begun abusing her son in the second grade and directed racial slurs towards him.

The Bruins president stated that the franchise never reached out to the Meyer-Crothers family to learn more about the situation and that is “absolutely” a problem with the team’s vetting process. Neely plans to reached out to the Meyer-Crothers family and apologize for the way that the entire situation was handled.

On Monday, Neely revealed that that the Bruins made the decision to part ways with Miller because of “new information.” He did not specify details of that new information. 

The Bruins did believe that Miller had done work on himself since his conviction, but ultimately the team “could’ve dug deeper” before making the decision to sign him.

“From everything I’ve heard, he was working on himself, working in programs to better himself,” Neely said. “I was under the impression it was a 14-year-old kid who made a really, really bad decision and did some horrible things, and he’s 20 years old now. I was under the impression that he, in the last six years, had done a lot of work on himself.”

Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron weighed in on Miller’s signing by calling his actions “unacceptable, and we don’t stand by that.”

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