The Mitchell Miller-Boston Bruins story continues to take twists and turns.
According to Mitchell Miller’s agent Eustace King, who appeared on the Cam And Strick Podcast (released on Tuesday), just hours after Neely addressed the media Monday, Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely, the Boston Bruins and every other team that he and Miller have been talking to since this past summer, were well aware of the timeline of events from Miller and the classmate he bullied, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, as they grew up and recently as well.
“I can tell you that every team that I talked to had detailed information about what happened between Mitchell and Isaiah,” King told co-host Andy Strickland. “And also what my thoughts were of the scenario; why I decided to take him on as a client, and then most importantly, which is most important here, and I didn’t touch on this before, that they were able to do their own investigation, but I wanted to make sure that they knew that we had a plan, and we were trying to do stuff.”
Everyone knew what was at stake, everyone knew the risks they were taking, everyone knew everything. Nothing has come up or resurfaced that has been different from everything that you’ve seen before. And that’s why I put a timeline together because I have not been able to find any new information or new accounts that have happened.”
In a Sunday night press release announcing the termination of the contract Miller and the Boston Bruins signed on Friday, and again in a Monday morning press conference, Neely said that ‘new information’ caused the Bruins to change course and release Mitchell Miller. Eustace King was asked about that:
“I think they have new information that they feel (justified the termination), but to the best of my knowledge, there’s no new information that’s come out,” King said.
As far as King is concerned there was no information that led to the contract being terminated, but rather the public backlash from Friday, that is still ongoing, is what led to his client losing another shot to play in the NHL.
“Basically, the announcement (of the Bruins signing Miller last Friday), changed everything,” King said. “When the announcement came out, and there was all this backlash on social media, there was a disruption between Isaiah and Mitchell. One thing that Isaiah didn’t want, is he doesn’t want any public fanfare. He’s been consistent on that. He doesn’t want to be in the media, that’s not something that he wants, but what he does want is ‘Hey Mitch, if you’re gonna do the work, then do the work, and if there’s any way that I can do the work with you, then I would consider that.
They didn’t finalize plans to do that, because they didn’t get the chance to meet, but they talked about working together, but I think that the biggest thing here is that these two young kids were beginning to heal.”
In his press conference Monday morning, Neely repeatedly stressed that he and the Bruins’ hockey operations staff were unaware of a series of transgressions between Miller and Meyer-Crothers that occurred after 2014. Despite various news outlets – many via Miller’s victim and disabled former classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers’ mother or Google – discovering that Miller’s bullying and racist remarks were not limited to one incident, and were part of a pattern that stretched on for years, Neely claimed that he and his hockey ops staff were unaware of that.
“He’s never reached out to my son. He never reached out to us,” Isaiah’s mother, Joni Meyer-Crothers, said in an interview with WBZ on Friday amidst the instant backlash after the Boston Bruins signed Miller. “I don’t care how talented any player is. He could be the next Wayne Gretzky. But if your player that you’re taking doesn’t have character and isn’t a good human being, then you really might want to rethink what you’re doing.”
Neely, who admitted not contacting Joni or Isaiah in their vetting process was their biggest mistake, said he believed Miller was a person who made a horrible mistake at a young age still paying the price and that he now deserved a second chance.
“From everything I’ve heard, he was working on himself, working in programs to better himself,” Neely said of the “new information” the team cited when cutting ties with Miller. “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, so I was under the impression that he, in the last six years, had done a lot of work on himself. From a hockey standpoint, the scouts think he’s a player that can play. From a character standpoint, that’s where we failed.
Initially, I was thinking it was going to be, ‘OK, this kid deserves a second chance.’ I thought there would be some people that were going to be upset about it. But to the extent of this, I misread that. So, we could’ve done a better job. We should’ve done a better job.”
King also contradicted Joni Meyer-Crothers claim that Miller had not apologized to her son until recently and that Miller wasn’t trying to make amends with her son.
“They were working out and healing on their own, which I think is very, very important,” King told Strickland. “They were working on their own issues and unfortunately that led to a disruption but before that disruption and all the stuff that we talked about and we’ll talk about later on with the Bruins, there was a point where I felt that they were going to heal each other because they had plans to meet, and Isaiah even said things like ‘Listen bro, you’re gonna be great; you’re gonna do well; you have to trust in God, and follow God and everything is gonna work itself out’ and that was important I felt, for them to be able to share that information and talk.”