Bruins

The Bruins would risk breaking the cramped locker room if or when they called Miller.

During the verification of Mitchell Miller (above), the Bruins did not contact his victim or her family.

Within the locker room, the Boston Bruins pride themselves on establishing a close bond with each other.

Their harmonious culture dates back to 2006 when Zdeno Chara arrived and set the tone as team captain. Patrice Bergeron took over the tone set by Chara after the defender’s departure to Washington outside the 2020 season.

Each newcomer to Boston became part of the fraternity, led by Chara and Bergeron. Even if deals, free agent signing, and draft selections were unsuccessful, the Bruins largely avoided players with character issues outside of the ice. That development changed on Friday after the Bruins announced their three-year contract with defender Mitchell Miller.

Miller relinquished his rights to the draft shortly after the Arizona Coyotes picked him in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Coyotes and the NHL knew before Miller was convicted in an Ohio juvenile court for racist intimidation of developmentally disabled Isaiah Meyer-Crothers. They only made up their minds after significant – and justifiable – public opposition from a pair of reporters detailing Miller’s behavior from Athletic and Republic of Arizona.

Now this legitimate objection is directed against the Bruins. Admitting that Miller’s past behavior would remain a blot for the rest of his life, fighting Boston grandmaster Don Sweeney failed to heat up the temperature in his attempt to control the damage.

“He has to deserve to play in the NHL as a player. But I think more importantly, he has to earn the respect of his teammates and really everywhere in society to get a second chance, ”said Zoom in an interview with the media. “He admitted mistakes he made when he was 14. It is more about what he is going to do now without losing sight of the disrespect he has caused the young man.

This ugly stain would remain with Miller for the rest of his life. But did he really deserve the respect and the chance to make his NHL dream come true?

Miller had to issue a court-ordered apology. He also reached the victim via a direct message on Instagram. Whether or not it’s sincere enough to guarantee a second chance in hockey – and in life – remains skeptical given the specifics of Miller’s behavior, from repeatedly using the “N” word to forcing Meyer-Crothers to lick a urinal lollipop.

In a written statement, Miller said he had learned from his past. The Bruins said they would continue to monitor his behavior through social networking programs after reporting to the P-Bruins. Until then, it’s all window decoration.

“When I was in the eighth grade, I made a very bad decision and acted very immature. I was bullying one of my classmates. I very much regret the incident and apologized to this person, ”said Miller in a press release issued by the team.

“Since the incident, I have better understood the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I did not recognize and understand almost seven years ago. I try to be a better person and make a positive contribution to society. As a member of the Bruins organization, I will continue to participate in community programs to both educate myself and share my mistakes with others to show the negative impact these activities can have on others. To be clear, what I did when I was 14 was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for disrespect for others, and I promise to take this opportunity to speak out against bullying. ”

The victim’s website contradicts Miller’s comments expressing his remorse. Joni Meyers-Crothers, Isaiah’s mother, shared further details in a public text exchange with Guy Flemming, the host of The Pipeline Show.

The Bruins thought they did everything they could in the verification process. However, Sweeney confirmed that the Bruins had not contacted the Meyer-Crothers family prior to signing with Miller.

In an interview with WBZ, Joni Meyer-Crothers confirmed that Miller did not directly apologize to the family for his heinous acts.

The Bruins did not even go the extra mile to reach the Meyers-Crothers family.

Sweeney confirmed that it was an organizational decision. Consequently, the Bruins will risk breaking the cramped locker room if or when they call Miller.

Sweeney admitted that the Bruins did not have Miller on their draft bill in 2020. They started chasing Miller about a year ago. The 20-year-old scored 83 points in 60 games against Tri-City Storm of USHL a season ago.

Many NHL teams have reportedly expressed an interest in signing a deal with Miller. The former North Dakota member has also gained interest in several unnamed collegiate hockey programs in the country.

So how did the Bruins come to this conclusion? And how has their leadership core responded to these developments?

“I’m not going to underestimate that it was a personal fight as well as a professional fight as we walk through and try to separate the hockey player from the person,” said Sweeney.

Sweeney had essentially become a public figurehead to make this disturbing decision. He explained that it was an organizational decision and not one he had made himself.

He also acknowledged concerns about Miller’s introduction when discussing a potential move with Bruin’s respected and proud leadership core.

“You can be sure our management group was aware of whether or not we would consider it,” said Sweeney. “Same reaction we all had when we said why are we doing this… why? Why would you invite it?

Indeed, why would the Bruins risk Miller despite possibly staying at Providence this season?

Why would the Bruins choose to re-stock their thin perspective system after years of poor recruiting from Sweeney with an unrepentant player beyond his written statements and preliminary press comments upon his arrival in Providence?

And why would the Bruins potentially throw in a key to their season? after their start 10-1-0 instead of thanking but not thanking Miller?

“In that regard, leaving would be much easier,” added Sweeney.

It would be a good decision. Instead, some 60 years later Willie O’Ree’s NHL debutFriday has become one of the darkest days in Bruins history.

The guys in the locker room deserved better. Passionate fans deserve better. Above all, the Meyers-Crothers family deserved better.

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