Cam Neely says Bruins ‘failed’ Mitchell Miller’s test

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said the potential signing of Mitchell Miller was his biggest regret as NHL CEO, and he expressed concern about the failures in the team’s vetting process.

“I am very upset that we have made so many people unhappy with our decision,” Neely said on Monday. “I am very proud of the Bruins organization and what we stand for, and we failed there.”

The Bruins on Friday signed Miller, a 20-year-old defenseman, with the goal of sending him to AHL Providence. However, the team announced Sunday night that it was splitting from Miller after backlash from fans, team players and commissioner Gary Pittman.

“I can’t tell you that he would ever be eligible to enter the NHL,” Buttman said on Saturday.

Miller was a fourth-round pick by the Arizona Wolf in 2020, but his draft rights were abandoned when a story broke about how he and another middle school classmate were convicted in juvenile court in 2016 of assaulting Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, and bullying. A black fellow with developmental disabilities. In the report, Meyer-Krothers’ mother alleged that Miller began abusing her son in second grade and repeatedly used racial insults.

Neely said the possibility of Miller signing was first raised in August. On Sunday, the Bruins’ family said they had decided to cut ties with him “based on new information.” When asked about Monday, Neely said the fact that the Bruins had never communicated with the Meyer-Crothers family “was worrisome to me” and that it was an “absolute” issue in the team’s vetting process.

“We like to be proud of what we do in the community and hold ourselves accountable,” said Neely, who said he plans to reach out to the Mayer Crothers family. “We dropped the ball, and I’m here to apologize.

“I’ll say it again: I want to apologize to Isaiah and his family. It’s something they shouldn’t keep doing.”

Why does the Bruins think Miller deserves a chance in the NHL, after the death of the Coyotes?

“From everything I’ve heard, he’s been working on himself, working on programs to improve himself,” Nellie said. “I had the impression that a 14-year-old made a really bad decision and did some terrible things, and he is 20 years old now. I had the impression that, in the last six years, he has done a lot of work on himself.”

Bruins’ boss, however, said the team “could have gone deeper” into Miller before signing him.

The initial reaction came from NHL fans and soon spread to the Boston players, who were on the road in Toronto and were told Miller was going to sign. captain Patrice Bergeron He called Miller’s actions “unacceptable, and we don’t abide by that.”

On Saturday, while in Finland for the NHL Global Series, Bettman said Miller’s future in the league was uncertain. The NHLPA told ESPN on Saturday that it had not been informed of any suspension or disciplinary action by the NHL towards Miller.

Neely said Boston General Manager Don Sweeney spoke with Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley on Wednesday about hiring Miller.

“From what he collected, [NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly] He said Mitchell would have to stand up to Gary Bateman if he was going to play in the National Hockey League.”

Nellie described Miller’s signature “quite a bit” as an executive. It came at a time when the Bruins were off to their best start in franchise history (10-2-0).

“The timing of that is probably not going to be good at all,” Neely said. “I think he has reached a point [whether] We do it or not. We made the wrong decision.”

ESPN’s Clark contributed to this report.

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