Bruins sign Mitchell Miller to an ELC - now "parting ways"

RedOctober3829

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A very interesting signing. Not sure how this will go PR-wise. Miller was a top 10 pick in the 2020 draft but got arrested for bullying a developmentally disabled black classmate when he was 14.
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, November 4, that the team has signed defenseman Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract.
"When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely poor decision and acted very immaturely," said Miller. "I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the individual. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand nearly seven years ago. I strive to be a better person and positively contribute to society. As a member of the Bruins organization, I will continue to participate in community programs to both educate myself and share my mistakes with others to show what a negative impact those actions can have on others. To be clear, what I did when I was 14 years old was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for being disrespectful to others and I pledge to use this opportunity to speak out against mistreating others."
"Representing the Boston Bruins is a privilege we take seriously as an organization," said Bruins President Cam Neely. "Respect and integrity are foundational character traits we expect of our players and staff. Prior to signing Mitchell, our Hockey Operations and Community Relations groups spent time with him over the last few weeks to better understand who he is as an individual and learn more about a significant mistake he made when he was in middle school. During this evaluation period, Mitchell was accountable for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to work with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a teachable moment for others. The expectation is that he will continue this important educational work with personal development and community programs as a member of the Bruins organization."
https://www.nhl.com/bruins/news/bruins-sign-mitchell-miller-to-entry-level-contract/c-337207364
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/sports/hockey/coyotes-renounce-rights-to-mitchell-miller.html
 
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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Right. Thirteen year olds are dicks. I blame the parents and his upbringing more than him.
100%.

I was raised (and acted) much differently at 13 than I am now.

It takes time to learn what is, and isn’t acceptable. If he was apologizing for his actions as a 18 year old I’d look at this a lot differently.
 

cshea

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Sweeney will speak soon.

I'll be honest I'm torn. I'm all for 2nd chances and the whole shithead youth thing. But at the same time his actions were not an isolated incident and were absolutely horrific.

I hope they at least spoke to the victim's family throughout the process. I'd feel a lot more comfortable about this if they got their opinion and side of the story instead of just speaking with those close to Miller.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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When I read RO’s lede, I was agog and aghast . Then I read the article and like the two posters above me, am willing to take everything with a huge shaker of salt. Heck, I probably did or said some things in the 8th grade that made the nuns blush (I think I called someone a poopyhead once).
 

yeahlunchbox

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The basic reading I've done is he's only done the mandated court apologize. If he's since truly apologized to the person he bullied than I guess but I don't really feel great about this.
 

Cotillion

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Listen. I’m all for accountability.

Kid was in the 8th grade. He was like 13 or 14. You can grow up quite a lot between 13 and 18.
Fuck off with he was just a kid... I was a 12 year old and I never thought to take a lollipop and drag it through a urinal and trick a kid into eating it, and constantly bullying a kid and calling him the n-word.

this wasn't just "he did some stupid things as a 12 year old"... he did heinous things. And he needs to show a ton to make up for that torment and turmoil he caused.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Fuck off with he was just a kid... I was a 12 year old and I never thought to take a lollipop and drag it through a urinal and trick a kid into eating it, and constantly bullying a kid and calling him the n-word.

this wasn't just "he did some stupid things as a 12 year old"... he did heinous things. And he needs to show a ton to make up for that torment and turmoil he caused.
He was 12.
 

Haunted

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Yeah I hate this. I don’t expect a bunch of Skating Mother Theresa’s out there but unless he comes out and talks about his journey or whatever…
 

Ale Xander

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12 is old enough to know difference between right and wrong. The urinal thing is horrific.

Also I tend to believe the victim’s mother who claims her son hasn’t received a direct apology.
 
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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Fuck off with he was just a kid... I was a 12 year old and I never thought to take a lollipop and drag it through a urinal and trick a kid into eating it, and constantly bullying a kid and calling him the n-word.

this wasn't just "he did some stupid things as a 12 year old"... he did heinous things. And he needs to show a ton to make up for that torment and turmoil he caused.
When I was 12, 13, 14 I routinely used homophobic and racist slurs. I bullied people weaker than me. I was raised in an environment where that was common place. The person I was then is in no way even remotely related to who I am now. I had to learn lessons the hard way, sometimes - but I was also fortunate to have some people in my life realize that I was not irredeemable.

Again - he was in junior high school, a kid. Good for you (more likely, your parents) that you weren't like that. Not every one is afforded that opportunity/education as a kid
 

biff_hardbody

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I wish they hadn't done this. For me, it puts a damper on the success they've had to start the year.

What's the best case scenario? He wins a Norris? I'll be even more conflicted. Hopefully he washes out.
 

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12 is old enough to know difference between right and wrong. The urinal thing is horrific.

Also I tend to believe the victim’s mother who claims their family hasn’t received the official court-mandated apology.
It's really, really not. 12 year olds do not have an understanding of empathy, and consequences like adults do.
 

Dummy Hoy

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Don't like it if it's the kid I'm thinking of...most people around the situation seem to think he (and his family?) have not actually been very contrite but have just apologized in order to move on.

I'm all for second chances, but there needs to be some reckoning and growth but that hasn't seemed the case here.

Fake Edit: It is the kid I'm thinking of
 

Bozo Texino

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Sure, people can change. But given the mother's statement that came out around the time Miller was drafted, I'm not a fan of this. At all.
 

cshea

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Here's an Athletic piece from when he was drafted. Provides background on Miller's actions, his lack of remorse, and also heartbreaking stuff from the victim's mother.

https://theathletic.com/2162185/2020/10/27/arizona-coyotes-mitchell-miller-bullying-nhl/

The apology is going to be scrutinized. The team statement from today says he has apologized. Miller and the Coyotes also said that he aplogized to the victim when he got drafted. At the time, the victim's family said they did not receive an apology beyond the bull shit court mandated letter he wrote. That was 2 years ago so plenty of time to pick up the phone and take actual actions to show remorse but we'll have to wait and see if he did. Again, I really really hope they talked to the victim's family. I'd feel a lot more comfortable about the situation if Miller did indeed aplogize and the team had a genuine conversation with the victim and his mother and received their blessing.

Also I disagree with the charactization that he was a top-10 worthy pick that fell. I believe central scouting had him ranked 72nd among NA skaters.
 

Bozo Texino

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It's really, really not. 12 year olds do not have an understanding of empathy, and consequences like adults do.
There's a difference between not understanding empathy and dragging a lollipop across a urinal and making a kid with a disability eat it - while also calling him the n-word. Repeatedly.

I'm not saying Miller's life should be ruined for what he did. But I'm not happy about this signing. Fuck him.
 

IdiotKicker

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Sweeney will speak soon.

I'll be honest I'm torn. I'm all for 2nd chances and the whole shithead youth thing. But at the same time his actions were not an isolated incident and were absolutely horrific.

I hope they at least spoke to the victim's family throughout the process. I'd feel a lot more comfortable about this if they got their opinion and side of the story instead of just speaking with those close to Miller.
I basically land here. I hope they did their due diligence on whether he’s actually apologized and changed, and I hope he basically has no leeway for anything remotely questionable in the future. I don’t really like this, and I hope he proves me wrong for not liking it.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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There's a difference between not understanding empathy and dragging a lollipop across a urinal and making a kid with a disability eat it - while also calling him the n-word. Repeatedly.

I'm not saying Miller's life should be ruined for what he did. But I'm not happy about this signing. Fuck him.
Yea, I can agree with this statement.

I believe people (especially kids) should be given second chances. I guess I'm not thrilled he's getting it with the Bruins - but if any organization has the history and leadership to fix a kid like this, it's the Bruins.
 

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I mean its not, but you do you homie.

I guess we should just start treating 13 and 14 year olds like adults in the court system, right? Because they clearly have the same mental development and understanding of consequences, right?
 

Ale Xander

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I mean its not, but you do you homie.

I guess we should just start treating 13 and 14 year olds like adults in the court system, right? Because they clearly have the same mental development and understanding of consequences, right?
Why do you keep moving the goalposts?
13 year olds know the difference between right and wrong. They certainly know that what he did was wrong. And that’s even before considering the hate crime aspect of it.
 

Jungleland

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Not thrilled! What he did was really fucking bad, and the Bruins look like assholes for bringing him in.

I agree 14 year olds who fuck up royally should get second chances. I just wish this particular kid did more to prove he deserves it, and that ultimately it be somewhere else.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Why do you keep moving the goalposts?
13 year olds know the difference between right and wrong. They certainly know that what he did was wrong.
Beause knowing something if something is right or wrong in the moment doesn't prevent later development and learning as to WHY they were wrong in assessing the situation when it happened. He was wrong when he was 14. The hope is that he has since learned WHY he was wrong, and wouldn't make the same choices. Fuck you're thick.
 

Ale Xander

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Beause knowing something if something is right or wrong in the moment doesn't prevent later development and learning as to WHY they were wrong in assessing the situation when it happened. He was wrong when he was 14. The hope is that he has since learned WHY he was wrong, and wouldn't make the same choices. Fuck you're thick.
You should probably review the victim mother’s statement then.
 

JCizzle

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These two quotes reinforce what a bad fucking idea this was. If you’re going to take this step, at least have the guts to speak to the victim. Sweeney is a coward.
 

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The Bruins did not talk to the family but were involved in setting up a meeting between Miller and the victim's family.

View: https://twitter.com/smclaughlin9/status/1588580735673417730?s=20&t=9ZPt0H7_7R32JN2pv-EjDw


Boy, I don't know how you make that an "imperative" part of the process and then don't bother to follow up with the family to get their opinion.
I mean, probably because the opinion of the victims family doesn't matter?

If someone did that to my daughter - despite my opinions above - I'd never forgive them, and never want to see them get a second chance. I imagine the victims family, regardless of Mitchells apology will ever forgive him.

Sweeney/the Bruins don't want the victims endorsement. They want to be seen as being sure Mitchell has seen the error of his ways and has changed.
 

Jungleland

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Sweeney looks like an absolute dumbass in those quotes. I get that from a PR perspective this stuff goes away fast (not necessarily that I agree it should), but it's hard to see this as anything but an unbelievable self-own for the B's front office.
 

joe dokes

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The Bruins did not talk to the family but were involved in setting up a meeting between Miller and the victim's family.

View: https://twitter.com/smclaughlin9/status/1588580735673417730?s=20&t=9ZPt0H7_7R32JN2pv-EjDw


Boy, I don't know how you make that an "imperative" part of the process and then don't bother to follow up with the family to get their opinion.
Unfortunately, I think the only way that needle gets threaded is with "we weren't giving the family veto power," or, less charitably "nothing they would've said would've mattered to us." I'm pretty sure Sweeney has autonomy, but it sure sounds like he ignored his own misgivings.
 

ngruz25

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Beause knowing something if something is right or wrong in the moment doesn't prevent later development and learning as to WHY they were wrong in assessing the situation when it happened. He was wrong when he was 14. The hope is that he has since learned WHY he was wrong, and wouldn't make the same choices. Fuck you're thick.
According to the family, he was "wrong" repeatedly from the ages of approximately 7 years old to 14, until he was finally caught on a security camera torturing the developmentally challenged victim and was forced to admit to his actions.

By all accounts, the kid was a psycho. It's not like he was just giving wet willies or something, he was torturing the poor kid.

Hopefully he's not still a psycho. I hate this.
 

JCizzle

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I mean, probably because the opinion of the victims family doesn't matter?

If someone did that to my daughter - despite my opinions above - I'd never forgive them, and never want to see them get a second chance. I imagine the victims family, regardless of Mitchells apology will ever forgive him.

Sweeney/the Bruins don't want the victims endorsement. They want to be seen as being sure Mitchell has seen the error of his ways and has changed.
Why doesn’t their opinion matter? If it’s such heinous behavior that they’ll never forgive him, maybe the Bruins should ask why he’s worth it. That’s certainly not normal for most people.
 

cshea

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I mean, probably because the opinion of the victims family doesn't matter?

If someone did that to my daughter - despite my opinions above - I'd never forgive them, and never want to see them get a second chance. I imagine the victims family, regardless of Mitchells apology will ever forgive him.

Sweeney/the Bruins don't want the victims endorsement. They want to be seen as being sure Mitchell has seen the error of his ways and has changed.
I don't think they need an endorsement of the move but some kind of conversation to talk it through with the family seems waranted. Especially after apparently being involved in setting up a conversation between the two. A simple how did it go, do you feel the apology was genuine and he's remorseful?
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Why doesn’t their opinion matter? If it’s such heinous behavior that they’ll never forgive him, maybe the Bruins should ask why he’s worth it. That’s certainly not normal for most people.
Because they're not the ones trying to make the Bruins a successful organization.

I'm not saying I don't care about their opinion. But that Sweeney doesn't care about their opinion isn't exactly surprising.
 

Ed Hillel

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He was 14 years old. The conduct was shitty and repeated, but he was 14 and he had his punishment. If there’s been nothing since then, I accept it as a fucked up learning experience and hope he succeeds.
 

RedOctober3829

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I don't think they need an endorsement of the move but some kind of conversation to talk it through with the family seems waranted. Especially after apparently being involved in setting up a conversation between the two. A simple how did it go, do you feel the apology was genuine and he's remorseful?
I'm with you here. I think this whole situation is one that isn't really necessary to put themselves in. If Sweeney is saying the things they are in the media, then they know it too but they think hockey-wise it's worth the risk which honestly makes it worse.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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I don't think they need an endorsement of the move but some kind of conversation to talk it through with the family seems waranted. Especially after apparently being involved in setting up a conversation between the two. A simple how did it go, do you feel the apology was genuine and he's remorseful?
I mean, I agree with you. But I can see why Sweeney wouldn't. This didnt happen while the kid was a Bruin. Don Sweeney doesn't care about the parents of the victim on a personal level. He cares about the optics, but he's trying to make the Bruins better. He doesn't make this move unless that's the only thing that motivates him.
 

Ed Hillel

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These two quotes reinforce what a bad fucking idea this was. If you’re going to take this step, at least have the guts to speak to the victim. Sweeney is a coward.
What responsibility is it of Don Sweeney to speak to them? Why? That’s for the criminal justice system and/or other community leaders, not a future employer.
 

JCizzle

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What responsibility is it of Don Sweeney to speak to them? Why? That’s for the criminal justice system and/or other community leaders, not a future employer.
You have no concerns about signing anyone with character issues as long as the criminal justice system is cool with it? I’m not asking for him to be put in jail, but I also don’t want guys like this to represent the team I root for.
 

McDrew

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Beause knowing something if something is right or wrong in the moment doesn't prevent later development and learning as to WHY they were wrong in assessing the situation when it happened. He was wrong when he was 14. The hope is that he has since learned WHY he was wrong, and wouldn't make the same choices. Fuck you're thick.
Thank you for speaking sanity. My role in the juvenile justice system is as a programmer/maintainer of the software that administrates it. Kids can change with the right resources and help to become people who will not commit the same wrongs again.

Furthermore, the "they'll always be horrible" mindset is a self-fulfilling prediction. If you offer no chances for growth and change, what motivation do people have to change?