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Bergeron, Bruins Players Universally Opposed Miller Signing

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Boston Bruins

If only Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely and general manager Don Sweeney listened to one of the most respected and classiest players to ever don the spoked B in Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, maybe they wouldn’t be in this Mitchell Miller mess and have been forced to release the troubled defenseman on Sunday night

Based on what Bergeron told the media after his team’s game day skate Monday, the Bruins could’ve avoided the hurricane of negativity they’re in now and tarnishing the storied franchise’s reputation could’ve been avoided if they listened to him and the player leadership core.

Prior to signing Miller and finding themselves in a maelstrom of criticism on Friday afternoon, Boston Bruins management did consult their player leadership core of captain Patrice Bergeron, alternate captains, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and veteran Nick Foligno to get their input. The Bruins have always prided themselves on their inclusive, accepting and moral culture so how would signing a convicted racist and bully be accepted by leadership core?

“I was on the fence,” Bergeron told Elliotte Friedman in an interview that aired on Sportsnet during the Hockey Night In Canada broadcast of the Bruins-Maple Leafs game Saturday night. “As a person but also as a team, we stand for integrity and inclusion and diversity, obviously. That was the first thing that came out of my mouth, was that it goes against what we are as a culture and as a team. And for me as a person.”

Unfortunately, for Bergeron, and for the entire organization, Cam Neely and Sweeney didn’t heed their captain’s advice and input and shocked the hockey world by signing the controversial Miller. According to Bergeron, when Neely and Sweeney met with the team Saturday morning prior to their 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Toronto and and after the signing, he and his teammates all made it clear that they disapproved of the signing due to it contradicting everything they stand for.

“In a way, yes. Like anything, it’s not like everyone had something to say. But the general opinion was that,” Bergeron replied when asked if the entire team was against the signing when they learned of it on Friday. “I’m glad that we were heard, I guess.”

So what did Bergeron and the leadership core say when they vented on management?

“To stay true to my values, really. What it comes down to and what is important is to stand up for what you think is wrong,” the Bruins captain said. “That situation, it goes back to what we’ve built here as an organization, as a team, as a locker room. That is to be inclusive and a locker room of respect and integrity.”

The Boston Bruins captain, who is respected league wide as one of the best and classiest leaders in the game wouldn’t get into more details but he did acknowledge that the response from Bruins fans who were disgusted with this signing was heard and factored into their opinions as well.

“It’s clear that I understand them. That being said, for us, nothing has changed as far as who we are as individuals, as a culture in this locker room, and what our core values are. As much as I understand them, we hear you and we feel like our values remain the same,” Bergeron said of the Bruins fans who let the team have it.

Marchand echoed that sentiment.

“We appreciate and love the fan support and the reason everyone is so upset is they’re so passionate about the group,” added Brad Marchand. “With the beliefs and the way that we handle the room, the type of people we want to have here, that bleeds throughout the organization and through the fans as well. That’s why they are upset; because everyone expects to have good people in this room.”

 

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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JustJim

Absolutely nothing else to write about? Not going to let it go, are you? Can’t move on, can you? Going to beat it to death, like the 2015 draft, aren’t you?

Tyler

I know, right? The most talked about hockey news for the past four days, the thing that is tarnishing a class organization, their star players going against management’s decision, and so far, no fallout. I can’t believe they’re still talking about it. The nerve.

Derrick

I’m really curious about Pasta’s thoughts on this as he considers a long term contract. Sure, I can see him wanting to finish off the season with this core group of players, but how does that sour his thoughts on sticking around after…especially without the likes of Bergeron and Krecji.

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