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

Haunted

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I understand the question "why is it not ok to be an NHL player but it IS ok to be a trucker or financier or whatever". To me, the difference is that the NHL player is The Product. Patrice Bergeron is the marketable asset. Winning and losing depend on him much the way a company's success depends on their employees, but Dell isn't marketing Jim the CFO or Helen the developer. But The Boston Bruins are absolutely marketing Patrice Bergeron, the team's captain.

I said earlier that I don't expect "my" players to be wonderful humans. But when I have - at least - a pretty good idea that someone isn't, I don't want them on "my" team. I don't care how good they are. I don't care how many touchdowns they'll score or how many goals they'll pot. I don't want to root for a known scumbag.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I think people need to chill a bit on the locker room talk. Hoisting the Cup this season will be a happy memory before we even remember this guy is in the system outside of the folks who pay close attention to the goings-on in Providence.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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It’s amazing that many of you think he is going to have an impact on this season when he is going to spend it in Providence developing and not anywhere near the big club. This has zero impact on the 2022-2023 Boston Bruins.
Yeah, I don’t think that’s a factor here. He could be a freshman at St. Cloud State, years away from being a pro. The problem is, Don Sweeney has just told the world that racially and physically abusing a kid, then so underwhelming the judge with your contrition that they made a point of saying, “You STILL don’t get it, do you, shithead?” is trumped by the fact that he might be one of the top 500 or so at his position in a sport. It’s a team that gave Willie O’Ree a chance in the NHL (nickel for his thoughts today, or, honestly, Fris’). What message should AA kids and their families in Boston take from this?
 

McDrew

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I think the clear frustration is that without evidence of prior work done on Miller's part, the Bruins appear to be the ones giving him the opportunity to do it. He should have earned this with actions, not promises.
 

cshea

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Why would a team flying as high as the Bruins take on a potential cancer, PR disaster and locker room divider like this? Did they really not know that the victim's family felt that the apology was not sincere?

Yikes.
This isn't about the 22/23 Bruins. They didn't just trade for Tony DeAngelo. Miller is a prospect signing, probably years away from even being a thought for Boston.

Miller will have zero impact in Boston this season. He's going to begin his career in Providence and will not be in the Boston lockeroom this season. The Bruins players will be asked about it tomorrow but then it'll be a non-factor for them and they won't think or be asked about it again.
 

Shaky Walton

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This isn't about the 22/23 Bruins. They didn't just trade for Tony DeAngelo. Miller is a prospect signing, probably years away from even being a thought for Boston.

Miller will have zero impact in Boston this season. He's going to begin his career in Providence and will not be in the Boston lockeroom this season. The Bruins players will be asked about it tomorrow but then it'll be a non-factor for them and they won't think or be asked about it again.
That makes sense. I don't like the current players being asked about this guy but I take your point.
 

Average Game James

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As the parent of a special needs child, I'm probably more sensitive to this than the average sports fan, but this is really disappointing and takes a lot of the joy out of what has been a really fun start to the Bruins season. Like, I'm literally on the verge of tears imaging something like that could happen to my son. I 100% believe in second chances, particularly for people who do terrible things as children or young adults, because I think people are capable of growth and change and Miller is no different in this regard. But just because people can grow and change doesn't mean that everyone does grow and change. My issue here is we have no real evidence Miller isn't the same horrible person that tortured another kid for years. I don't need to see self-flagellation on TV or anything, but the next hint of shame or remorse will be the first.

From a team chemistry perspective, this seems like a massive risk to me. I can't imagine feeling good about having this guy in the locker room period, but especially for the number of players that are parents.
 

astrozombie

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Only Sweeney could take the Bruins great start to the season and absolutely slam a dark cloud over it with signing this guy. Yeah he was 14 but a 14 year old *still* should have known that what he did was wrong. Why couldn't Sweeney have just been content to coast off the previous work of others, make mostly bad trades, draft poorly, ignore secondary scoring, and try running the whole thing back over and over like he has been the past several years?
 

TSC

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Moving away from the off ice stuff, a bit.

I’m not super familiar with USHL competition level, but Mitchell - as an overager, has dominated.

View: https://youtu.be/CFFgogzoVpE


Has a wrist/snap shot that looks like it has the potential to be elite, especially as a defensemen.
It’ll be interesting to see how he transitions to the AHL game and we can get some film on him.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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My issue with his statement today is that he twice references how long ago it was and how old he was when it all happened...and has repeatedly called it an "incident". Yes, he got caught (on camera) once, but it was years of traumatic abuse.

Not every asshole kid grows into a decent human.

And for the people that are saying that Boston is the right team to help him grow...huh? The last time an absolute asshole played for then and acted like a juvenile (Seguin) they shipped him out of town for pennies because they COULDN'T handle him.
 

kenneycb

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If you have to go back 10 years to find an example I think that’s a positive for the leadership.

And for the 15th time, he’s not going to be in Boston. He’ll be in Providence. So the locker room stuff is a moot point for a couple years.
 

cshea

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Moving away from the off ice stuff, a bit.

I’m not super familiar with USHL competition level, but Mitchell - as an overager, has dominated.

View: https://youtu.be/CFFgogzoVpE


Has a wrist/snap shot that looks like it has the potential to be elite, especially as a defensemen.
It’ll be interesting to see how he transitions to the AHL game and we can get some film on him.
Yeah I don't know much about his on-ice ability.

Mason Lohrei is best I can do for a comp. He also was a D that played in the USHL as an overager.

Lohrei's age 19/20 season: 48 games 19g 40a 59 points (1.23 points per game)
Miller's age 19/20 season: 60 games 39g 44a 83 points (1.38 points per game)

Miller was supposed to go to North Dakota but his scholarship was rescinded.

I'd be curious to know what the prospect followers think of his ability and where he would slot on a prospect list just based on his hockey performance.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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If he goes on the (multi-year, mind you) Michael Vick contrition route, I will be ok once he contributes (amd continues) to make amends. The Bruins should make that they #1 priority. Get him the help he needs to start speaking out against bullying. I think the city of Providence is a great place to start this.
 

amfox1

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Seems to me that the alternatives are that (1) people get one strike in life or (2) people deserve unlimited chances to redeem themselves or (3) people deserve a limited number of opportunities to redeem themselves under conditions designed to ensure that they are not eternally punished for prior mistakes but also designed to show that they are, and continue to be on a go-forward basis, human beings who have learned from their mistakes.

I'd like to think that most people fall into (3), even if this thread (mostly) doesn't currently reflect that belief.
 

Bozo Texino

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Yeah I don't know much about his on-ice ability.

Mason Lohrei is best I can do for a comp. He also was a D that played in the USHL as an overager.

Lohrei's age 19/20 season: 48 games 19g 40a 59 points (1.23 points per game)
Miller's age 19/20 season: 60 games 39g 44a 83 points (1.38 points per game)

Miller was supposed to go to North Dakota but his scholarship was rescinded.

I'd be curious to know what the prospect followers think of his ability and where he would slot on a prospect list just based on his hockey performance.
Both Miller and Lohrei won the USHL Defenseman of the Year award. Miller was also awarded as the league's Player of the Year.
 

Red Right Ankle

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As the parent of a special needs child, I'm probably more sensitive to this than the average sports fan, but this is really disappointing and takes a lot of the joy out of what has been a really fun start to the Bruins season. Like, I'm literally on the verge of tears imaging something like that could happen to my son. I 100% believe in second chances, particularly for people who do terrible things as children or young adults, because I think people are capable of growth and change and Miller is no different in this regard. But just because people can grow and change doesn't mean that everyone does grow and change. My issue here is we have no real evidence Miller isn't the same horrible person that tortured another kid for years. I don't need to see self-flagellation on TV or anything, but the next hint of shame or remorse will be the first.

From a team chemistry perspective, this seems like a massive risk to me. I can't imagine feeling good about having this guy in the locker room period, but especially for the number of players that are parents.
It sucks that the Bruins made you feel this way. The bolded nails it. The mother's text chain with on page 2 makes it clear this kid is still minimizing what he did (calling it "an incident" instead of acknowledging years of bullying). He has shown no growth and has only apologized because it stood in the way of his career.

And the Bruins fucking rewarded him for it.
 

brendan f

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Along with the lollipop incident(s) he told the kid repeatedly to "go pick cotton" yet racism was not acknowledged by the Bruins anywhere. Sweeney referred to the continued incidents as "disrespect" which is about a weak a word as one can choose. It makes me wonder what they have in mind for community programs. Also, the programs are designed "to continue to educate himself and others"? So, he stills needs to be educated, or others should be educated by him? This sounds like complete PR BS.
 

joe dokes

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Along with the lollipop incident(s) he told the kid repeatedly to "go pick cotton" yet racism was not acknowledged by the Bruins anywhere. Sweeney referred to the continued incidents as "disrespect" which is about a weak a word as one can choose. It makes me wonder what they have in mind for community programs. Also, the programs are designed "to continue to educate himself and others"? So, he stills needs to be educated, or others should be educated by him? This sounds like complete PR BS.
Aside from whether the Bruins (or anyone) should take him on, Sweeney's efforts today really just sound empty and undercut any "good" motivation. The team can't make milquetoast statements like today AND, at the same time, credibly claim the high-ish ground that they are "giving someone who made a mistake/fucked up/was a horrible person the opportunity and help to continuing becoming a better person" (or whatever they might say IF they had also acknowledged the severity of the original acts).
 

Two Youks

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As someone born with a pretty severe physical disability - Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a form of MD which, after somewhere around 40-45 surgeries as a kid at Boston Children's Hospital, leaves me as a functional quadriplegic - this hits pretty hard. Sports is one of the ways I escape from all the disability bullshit I endure everyday. The Bruins signing a guy who repeatedly exploited and abused a disabled person just... I can't even describe how I feel accurately beyond incredibly disappointed and seething with anger. Some things are more important than sports.
 

jk333

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Yeah I don't know much about his on-ice ability.

I'd be curious to know what the prospect followers think of his ability and where he would slot on a prospect list just based on his hockey performance.
This will be interesting to watch. On one hand, he’s matching Lohrei’s numbers. On the other, most of the elite players are in the CHL or NCAA. To now jump up against AHL players is a big step up.

I guess what I’m saying is the eye test will matter a lot but he probably gets next season even if he’s not very good this year.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I will also say, this kid is going to have no easy road in the locker room and on the ice. He's rightfully going to have to earn everything he gets and it'll take a long time to earn respect.

If he makes it in the NHL, and specifically on the Bruins, we'll have to assume he's put in the work. Time will tell.
 

TSC

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I will also say, this kid is going to have no easy road in the locker room and on the ice. He's rightfully going to have to earn everything he gets and it'll take a long time to earn respect.

If he makes it in the NHL, and specifically on the Bruins, we'll have to assume he's put in the work. Time will tell.
So, I don’t know if I believe this, necessarily.

Tony DeAngelo is thriving in the NHL - and he was/is a piece of shit as an adult.

Mitchell, at this point, just has to be good enough at hockey that it’s worth the PR hit.

The Bruins really are sticking their neck out here, by being the first NHL team to give him his shot.
 

Marciano490

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I will also say, this kid is going to have no easy road in the locker room and on the ice. He's rightfully going to have to earn everything he gets and it'll take a long time to earn respect.

If he makes it in the NHL, and specifically on the Bruins, we'll have to assume he's put in the work. Time will tell.
I’m not certain about the locker room. Hockey is full of scatological and abusive hazing all up and down its ranks.
 

kenneycb

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I’m not certain about the locker room. Hockey is full of scatological and abusive hazing all up and down its ranks.
And how often do you hear about that in the pros? I’m hard pressed to find a relatively recent incident that didn’t involve juniors or NCAA.
 

LogansDad

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Seems to me that the alternatives are that (1) people get one strike in life or (2) people deserve unlimited chances to redeem themselves or (3) people deserve a limited number of opportunities to redeem themselves under conditions designed to ensure that they are not eternally punished for prior mistakes but also designed to show that they are, and continue to be on a go-forward basis, human beings who have learned from their mistakes.

I'd like to think that most people fall into (3), even if this thread (mostly) doesn't currently reflect that belief.
I disagree, I think most in this thread fall into 3, provided that the offending party has signaled some form of non-selfish regret, contrition and making amends. This kid, as far as I can tell, has done none of those things.

This morning I was on the fence. After Sweeny's comments, and the response from the mom of the kid he tortured, I am firmly in the camp of this is a disaster of Sweeny's own making.

Regardless of the fact he won't see Boston this year, this puts a cloud over the whole organization for me, which sucks during Bergy's twilight and such a historically awesome start for the team.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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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.
He was fucking 13. Are people serious here? A juvenile doing horrible things means he should never get a second chance? Hope nobody that feels that way backed any politicians with sketchy histories. Like complaining about racial jungles or letting car passengers drown because they were drunk.

The hypocrisy is rich. People need to get a fucking grip.
 

JCizzle

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He was fucking 13. Are people serious here? A juvenile doing horrible things means he should never get a second chance? Hope nobody that feels that way backed any politicians with sketchy histories. Like complaining about racial jungles or letting car passengers drown because they were drunk.

The hypocrisy is rich. People need to get a fucking grip.
Most people who do the type of shit he did to another human don’t need to be forced into the lamest possible apology after refusing to give one for years. He might have been a teenager when he was an abusive racist, but he was an adult he refused to apologize to the victim for it.

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/bruins-sign-mitchell-miller-to-an-elc.37939/post-5250859
 

Lose Remerswaal

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As someone born with a pretty severe physical disability - Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a form of MD which, after somewhere around 40-45 surgeries as a kid at Boston Children's Hospital, leaves me as a functional quadriplegic - this hits pretty hard. Sports is one of the ways I escape from all the disability bullshit I endure everyday. The Bruins signing a guy who repeatedly exploited and abused a disabled person just... I can't even describe how I feel accurately beyond incredibly disappointed and seething with anger. Some things are more important than sports.
Wow. Powerful coming from you, @Two Youks .

Have you considered telling the Bruins what you told us? I wonder if/what they would say to you.
 

amfox1

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I disagree, I think most in this thread fall into 3, provided that the offending party has signaled some form of non-selfish regret, contrition and making amends. This kid, as far as I can tell, has done none of those things.
The news articles seem clear that Miller has met with multiple people in the Bruins organization, and that they are providing a road map of sorts for Miller, both hockey and non-hockey. The Bruins organization prides itself on character. Perhaps they truly believe he’s learned from his troubled past and will become an advocate against bullying, violence and racism. But you are looking for a public apology so that you can accept the signing? The organization is taking the heat for this, deservedly, and if it works out they'll get some credit, along with Miller. If Miller makes another mistake, he'll be gone and the front office will be ripped to shreds for giving Miller a chance in the first place.
 

PedroSpecialK

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I am disgusted and incredibly disappointed in the decision to add this person to the organization.

To say nothing of the horrible things that Isaiah Meyers-Crothers was subjected to - Zdeno Chara built his leadership on zero tolerance for bullying and abuse. This flies completely in the face of that - with Sweeney admitting as much in the presser.

I hope he never plays a game at the NHL level for the Bruins. It feels like a stain on the organization.
 

LogansDad

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The news articles seem clear that Miller has met with multiple people in the Bruins organization, and that they are providing a road map of sorts for Miller, both hockey and non-hockey. The Bruins organization prides itself on character. Perhaps they truly believe he’s learned from his troubled past and will become an advocate against bullying, violence and racism. But you are looking for a public apology so that you can accept the signing? The organization is taking the heat for this, deservedly, and if it works out they'll get some credit, along with Miller. If Miller makes another mistake, he'll be gone and the front office will be ripped to shreds for giving Miller a chance in the first place.
I could give a shit about my feelings, and I don't need a public apology, but it is clear that the victims mother does not feel like he has done enough (or anything really) to make amends. He is not longer a child, and he has had opportunity to grow since the draft.... nothing I have seen or read has given me any reason to believe he has taken that opportunity.
 

Haunted

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I am disgusted and incredibly disappointed in the decision to add this person to the organization.

To say nothing of the horrible things that Isaiah Meyers-Crothers was subjected to - Zdeno Chara built his leadership on zero tolerance for bullying and abuse. This flies completely in the face of that - with Sweeney admitting as much in the presser.

I hope he never plays a game at the NHL level for the Bruins. It feels like a stain on the organization.
I thought of Z and his anti hazing/bullying policy as captain. I’m really curious what he and Patrice think about this.

I agree with your last two sentences fully. I’m really disappointed.
 

RIFan

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If the culture Chara helped establish is going to be overwhelmed by one player, then maybe the culture wasn’t all it appeared to be. I don’t believe that is the case at all. A few things will happen here. Miller will tow the line both on and off the ice guided by vets in PVD such as Wags or he’ll prove himself a shithead. Adam McQuaid, who is as decent a person in hockey as anyone, will surely be a big part of Miller’s guidance. I wouldn’t doubt that Chara himself meets with the kid and possibly serves as a mentor. Maybe the strength of the organizational culture makes this the right place for Miller to develop into someone who can be respectful member of society.
 

PedroSpecialK

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It's not a matter of one person overwhelming that culture, but the act of signing this player is itself an erosion of it IMO.

I believe in second chances, but there are degrees of fuckups. I had no problem with them giving Jim Montgomery a second chance. People do things awful enough that I think it's reasonable to not want anything to do with that person if you have the choice - racially-motivated physical assault and psychological abuse being one of them. The lack of apology or genuine remorse shown towards Meyers-Crothers until the week he's about to sign an NHL contract says a lot about Miller's character or lack thereof - and that of his parents.
 

amfox1

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I could give a shit about my feelings, and I don't need a public apology, but it is clear that the victims mother does not feel like he has done enough (or anything really) to make amends. He is not longer a child, and he has had opportunity to grow since the draft.... nothing I have seen or read has given me any reason to believe he has taken that opportunity.
As I understand it, Miller and a classmate admitted to an Ohio court to bullying a developmentally-disabled classmate in 2016, when Miller was 14 years old. Miller admitted to the misdemeanors, was sentenced to 25 hours of community service and was ordered to write an apology through the court system to the victim, participate in counseling and pay court costs. He did so. He also paid an additional price, losing his scholarship to UND and having his draft rights revoked in 2020 based on the public reaction to the news story.

I'm sure the victim's mother feels, as any parent would, that the punishment was insufficient for putting her son through the ordeal. Given her visceral anger all these years later (quite understandable), it is not surprising that Miller did not seek to reach out to her after issuing the apology mandated by the Ohio court. Miller paid his price under the law and paid and is still paying a price in the court of public opinion.

I hope that Miller has learned his lessons and will be an exemplary player for the P-Bruins and in the local community. If not, he'll be gone.

EDIT: I endorse RIFan's post #142.
 

catomatic

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I hated it when a friend sent me the link, earlier today. After reading Two Youks’s reaction, I hate it still more.

I will read any puff pieces about this young man’s future epiphanies with the utmost skepticism.

My excitement over this season just took a big hit. Orr emerging as a Trumper prompted me to toss my old autographed hockey gloves but that wasn’t a real-time own-goal by the organization itself. This one is. Kid was serially odious and his faint whiffs of contrition look very performative. Sweeney done fucked up.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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If he can help the Bruins win, and not be a piece of shit now while doing it, then I’m OK with it. There are lots of assholes in professional sports. And lots of kids do shitty things. He’s certainly not the only kid to bully someone who is DDD, and definitely not the only one to who was using words that shouldn’t be used. Would I forgive him if it was my child? No. But do I think as an adult he shouldn’t be given the chance to work, also no.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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As the parent of a special needs child, I'm probably more sensitive to this than the average sports fan, but this is really disappointing and takes a lot of the joy out of what has been a really fun start to the Bruins season. Like, I'm literally on the verge of tears imaging something like that could happen to my son. I 100% believe in second chances, particularly for people who do terrible things as children or young adults, because I think people are capable of growth and change and Miller is no different in this regard. But just because people can grow and change doesn't mean that everyone does grow and change. My issue here is we have no real evidence Miller isn't the same horrible person that tortured another kid for years. I don't need to see self-flagellation on TV or anything, but the next hint of shame or remorse will be the first.

From a team chemistry perspective, this seems like a massive risk to me. I can't imagine feeling good about having this guy in the locker room period, but especially for the number of players that are parents.
Thank you. This is how I feel as well.

A few things really stick out for me here. One is that, as others have noted, his recent statement minimizes what he did and the harm he caused by referring to a single incident. If, as an adult, he was truly contrite, shouldn’t his statement be more accurate and honest? Another problem for me is that he wrote and sent letters to 31 NHL teams, apologizing to them, but he’s never thought about sending a letter of apology to his victim? That’s a failure on his part, as an adult. And it really causes me to doubt his sincerity and contrition. A third issue, if the victim’s mother is correct, is that he lied in his recent IG/Snapchat attempt to apologize when he said that it wasn’t hockey related. Sweeney just told us that the team required him to reach out to the family. So it pretty clearly was hockey related.

To me, these are red flags. I wouldn’t have signed him. In fact, given all this, if I were a hiring manager at 7-11, I wouldn’t hire him to work there, either. I believe in second chances, especially for things done as a kid, but you have to earn the second chance. I don’t think Miller has.