Bruins announce new policies in wake of Mitchell Miller signing

The Boston Bruins on Thursday revealed findings and subsequent procedural changes from an independent review conducted by Mitchell Miller when they were signed.

That investigation, led by former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, searched thousands of documents related to Boston’s signing of Miller on Nov. 4, before the club days later closed the connection broke off to him.

The Bruins’ release detailed what new policies the club will adopt while stating that there was no wrongdoing by Boston staff in the initial review of Miller.

“The steps we’re announcing today underscore our organization’s commitment to our values, including our process for vetting future players,” said team CEO Charlie Jacobs in a statement. “These improvements, which the team will begin implementing immediately, will help ensure we meet the high standards that our employees, fans and community have come to expect from this great organization.”

The review recommended putting in place several policies regarding future player acquisitions:

  • Establish clear written guidelines for reviewing off-ice behavior, including identifying red flags that require detailed review and a documented resolution

  • Establish clear timelines and responsibilities within the organization to investigate community or other prospect commitments

  • Establish centralized documentation of the review that includes reporting of red flags and off-ice issues, and ensure this documentation is available to all stakeholders involved in the process

  • Establish a tracking system to ensure responsibilities for all review tasks are clearly assigned and tracked

  • Leverage independent third-party resources to investigate and resolve factual alert verification issues

  • Determine if there are specific training or rehabilitation programs the prospect should participate in, depending on the nature of the red flags

The law firm’s report states that there were previous loopholes in Boston’s system that prevented them from properly dealing with red flags presented by someone like Miller. Miller, then 14, pleaded guilty in 2016 in juvenile court to one count of assault and a violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act after he and another teen were accused of bullying classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a black classmate with developmental disabilities to have.

Despite this history, Miller was selected to the fourth round by the Arizona Coyotes in October 2020. The Coyotes dropped his rights that month after news of Miller’s past became public. He was also removed from the University of North Dakota hockey team.

Boston chose Miller anyway. The Bruins said at the time they did their due diligence before deciding to give Miller a “second chance.” Their decision was met with quick backlash that deepened when it became clear that Boston had not spoken to Meyer-Crothers about what Miller was doing, nor did the Bruins consult the NHL or AHL about Miller’s eligibility to even play games.

Despite Boston saying they have cut ties with Miller, he is technically still signed with the club.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/35306927/bruins-announce-new-policies-wake-mitchell-miller-signing Bruins announce new policies in wake of Mitchell Miller signing

Emma Bowman

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