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Former AG Loretta Lynch To Review Bruins’ Vetting Process

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Boston Bruins

Still under the dark cloud of the Mitchell Miller fiasco, the Boston Bruins have hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, now working for the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, to conduct an independent review of their player-vetting process.

Here’s the official statement from the Boston Bruins released just after 3 PM ET on Tuesday afternoon:

‘The Boston Bruins strive every day to live our values and meet the high standards our associates, fans and community have come to expect. This includes treating everyone inside and outside our organization with dignity and respect. We recently fell short of our high standards and disappointed both ourselves and many in our community. Moving forward, we are committed to ensuring that our values are reflected in everything we do as an organization, including our process for vetting future players.

As part of this commitment, the Boston Bruins have retained an experienced and respected team of professionals, led by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, to conduct an independent review of our player-vetting process. This will help us ensure that our process going forward reflects our core values. The Bruins organization will fully cooperate with the independent review team and will publicly disclose the results of the review upon its completion.’

Off to their best start ever, the Boston Bruins found themselves in a public relations nightmare on Nov. 4 when Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced that the Bruins had signed Mitchell Miller to a three-year, 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 after a 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 at 16, 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. He continued to do all of this after he was convicted and until the age of 18.

The Coyotes came 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.

Speaking on Nov. 7, the morning after he released a statement that announced that the Boston Bruins were ‘parting ways’ with Miller, Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely repeatedly cited ‘new information’ and not talking to Meyer-Crothers and his family as the main reasons for moving on from Miller just two days after signing him on November 4. The disheveled Neely repeatedly cited failure in the vetting process of Miller done by the Boston Bruins.

“There’s a lot of people that are let down today,” Neely told the media on Nov. 7. “I’m disappointed that we’re in this position. We shouldn’t be in this position. So, we could’ve done a better job. We should’ve done a better job.”

He then added: “We didn’t talk to the family. We should’ve talked to the family.”

Neely did not rule out disciplinary action for those working below him and said he would take the past week to determine if anyone could potentially lose their job or jobs for not vetting Miller better.

“Something I have to deal with today and this week and see where it takes me,” he said.

As of 4:30 PM ET on Tuesday, Neely had not released any updates on what he found and if any disciplinary action will take place, but one has to think that it won’t until this review to be conducted by former Attorney General Lynch has concluded.

To date, neither Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs or his son and Bruins and Delaware North CEO Charlie Jacobs have made any public statements on the matter. Two emails from Boston Hockey Now to Delaware North public relations that asked if any statement from the Jacobs would be made were redirected to the Bruins PR department. There has been no reply from the Bruins.

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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Fred

Miller’s past was well known and now Neely and Sweeney are not accepting responsibility and are trying to find a scapegoat. Apparently, they don’t realize that by stating that people working below them didn’t do a proper job of vetting Miller really proves how incompetent Neely and Sweeney are. The so-called “new information” that they found last week was nothing more than Gary Bettman saying Miller was ineligible to play. Sweeney and Miller signed the player. They should be accepting the responsibility. Having said all of this, I also believe that punishing a person for something stupid they did when… Read more »

Kevin L

You are extremely misinformed. Miller is a bad seed — and his was a long-running habit of delivering a long list of abusive behaviors. while facts show he was not alone in this sick existence of his, there were others who joined in the fray. But the complete record shows Miller is The Problem.

BTW: His abusive actions lasted until at least as recent as 3 years ago (as far as the official record shows).

Last edited 13 days ago by Kevin L
Critical Thinker

This whole thing is a complete mess. 1. Sweeney should have been more prepared for this conference. 1. His agent is black and deliberated for months before taking him on. 2. Mitchell has felt the consequences of his actions by losing his scholarship and draft status from Arizona. Maybe he didn’t appear remorseful when he was 16 because he didn’t have any real consequences at the time. He clearly understands now what was wrong about him. 3. Mitchell has committed to 5-6 causes and groups to educate others of his wrong doings so they can learn from his mistakes. 2.… Read more »

Critical thinker

The whole first 10 points are facts. Not sure what you are saying. You tell me how a kid continues to bully someone “everyday until I was 18”, when they have a no contact order and are in different states? Tell me that a Mom who has gone on the attack against Mitchell, every time he has a success, doesn’t file a breach of court order when Mitchell continued to bully her son every day, for 2 years after he was convicted. It doesn’t make sense. It was horrible what Mitchell did, and there is no way the mom doesn’t… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Critical thinker
Kevin L

Sorry — but you do not state “facts”.
Your Christianity and politics stink-up your wishy-washy argument.
Give it up, dude.

Kevin L

“We shouldn’t be in this position. So, we could’ve done a better job. We should’ve done a better job.” (Neely) Really, Cam? ‘We’ ??? Dude — YOU are the one who called the shots. YOU are the one who pressed Sweeney to rescind his assurance to Cassidy that his job was safe. YOU are not fit for the Front Office. Any business person, savvy corporate sports weenie, veteran fan — WE all have recognized how inept and how undiplomatic Neely has been. This ongoing lame attempt at DAMAGE CONTROL is nothing short of PATHETIC. Neely should probably shut his mouth… Read more »

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