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Bruins Sign Controversial Former Coyotes Pick Mitchell Miller

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Mitchell Miller

The Boston Bruins have signed former Arizona Coyotes draft pick and former controversial USHL star defenseman Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract.

After being drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the fourth round (111th overall), of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Mitchell Miller  eventually saw his rights get renounced his rights after story surfaced that he had been convicted in juvenile court of bullying and abusing a classmate when he was 14-years-old. Miller, 20, was found guilty of accusations that, starting in second grade, he and a classmate repeatedly bullied their disabled classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, including using repeated racial slurs and physically demeaning him. The Coyotes had come under immediate and heavy scrutiny after drafting Miller but it wasn’t until a series of letters from Meyer-Crothers’ mother Joni and eventually sitting down with and listening to her, did they make the decision to cut ties with Miller.

Miller also lost a full scholarship to the University of North Dakota as a result of the stories that surfaced.

Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely had this to say in a press release statement announcing the signing on Friday.

Representing the Boston Bruins is a privilege we take seriously as an organization,” Neely said. “Respect and integrity are foundational character traits we expect of our players and staff.  Prior to signing Mitchell, our Hockey Operations and Community Relations groups spent time with him over the last few weeks to better understand who he is as an individual and learn more about a significant mistake he made when he was in middle school. 

During this evaluation period, Mitchell was accountable for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to work with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a teachable moment for others. The expectation is that he will continue this important educational work with personal development and community programs as a member of the Bruins organization.”

The stories of the bullying by Miller and his classmate that continued to surface had also gotten worse and played a role in the Coyotes decision to renounce his rights. Craig Harris and Jose M. Romero of the Arizona Republic, reported that Miller admitted in Ohio juvenile court in 2016 that in addition to the repeated bullying of Meyer-Crothers repeatedl and that he also hurled the n-word against on numerous occasions.

No story was more horrifying though than the one of Miller and his classmate making Meyer-Crothers lick a lollipop that was previously rubbed along a bathroom urinal. Isaiah Meyer-Crothers would undergo tests for HIV, hepatitis, and various other sexually transmitted diseases, according to the scathing report. All of the tests came back negative.

In the same press release mentioned above, Mitchell Miller acknowledged his mistakes and spoke of the work he’s done to atone for them and become a better person.

“When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely poor decision and acted very immaturely,” Miller said. “I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the individual.  Since the incident, I have come to better understand the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand nearly seven years ago. I strive to be a better person and positively contribute 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 what a negative impact those actions can have on others. To be clear, what I did when I was 14 years old was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for being disrespectful to others and I pledge to use this opportunity to speak out against mistreating others.”

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was scheduled to speak to the media via Zoom at 1 PM ET, as was Mitchell Miller in person after practicing with the Providence Bruins at noon.

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Johnny g

The question is do you get a chance to correct an error made when you were 14 years old Or are you for ever ruined ? If it is the 2nd. Many of us if not almost all of us are doomed to go to hell

Orrfan

Karma

JustJim

As a person who has been given many “2nd chances” in a wild and tumultuous life, let me just say one thing, give the kid a break. This woke world we live in has gone over the edge in self righteous judgement of others. ” Judge not, lest he be judged.”, applies here. One other thing to say, “Welcome aboard, Mitch”!

BB4Evr

Being convicted in a juvenile court for bullying a kid with a disability – regardless of that kid’s race or background – is a “woke” decision? Are you freaking kidding? Why not throw-in condemning a national junior hockey team gang-raping a teenage girl after drugging her as being part of the “woke” culture? Walk a day in the shoes of the parents of one of those two kids and get back to us on how you personally feel about it then. Whether Sweeney made a bad decision or not is one thing; don’t minimize what the kid actually did.

Robert Stuenzi

He was just a kid then. We ALL made mistakes.

Bob Lataille

What a dirt bag. How awful of a human being do you have to be do what this kid did FOR YEARS? This was not a one-time mistake. He and his friend bullied this poor kid for years. This guy is a piece of trash and the Bruins never should have signed him. Very disappointed in the team for doing this, especially while they are having such a positive start to the season. I hope this dirt bag never plays a game in the NHL, let alone for the Bruins.

Phil

What the heck are the bruins thinking?? Stupid !!!

Kevin L

Neely (and Sweeney) have real problems with trying to put any spin on their poor decisions. How they manage their lame moves after the fact is not much better. In this case I see no practical reason to sign a convicted subject who has a pattern of abuse. I’m all for second chances — but he’s already spent that dime. Let me remind you Sweeney had said more than once he was not interested in signing this guy. Yet, once again, it seems Cam stepped on his toes (or told him what to do). Been loving the B’s since 1962, but… Read more »

Matt King

“Man, everything is going right for the Bruins! Hopefully something stupid doesn’t happen to derail this positive momentum!”
Sweeney: “Shut up and hold my beer.”

Tony

Here’s betting Sweeney’s calculus went something like this: “we’re flying high now, so this move will slip in under the radar.”

The B’s fast start aside, over the past few years Sweeney has given many reasons to question his hockey judgement . He’s now given us a reason to question his sanity.

BB4Evr

Part of a GM’s job isn’t to be the team’s designated “savior” for “sinful” hockey prospects. His job is to make the team successful now and into the future, so Sweeney put talent ahead of character when it came to this decision. He tries to justify it by saying he wants to give Miller a chance. The discussion between him and Neely probably went something like, “Yeah, we could get some blow-back but it looks like other teams are looking at him, so why risk losing him to another team?” What Miller did in his past was probably secondary in… Read more »

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