The Boston Bruins are at the center of a swirling controversy this week after news broke that they had signed Mitchell Miller to an Entry Level contract. In 2016, Mitchell Miller and a classmate of his was found delinquent in an Ohio juvenile court on charges of assault and violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act. The incidents involved the pair bullying fellow classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a disabled African American. Miller and his classmate forced Meyer-Crothers to eat a piece of candy they had wiped on the urinal, along with other bullying related actions in addition to repeatedly calling Meyer-Crothers the “N-Word”. The Arizona Coyotes had originally drafted Miller in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, but the rescinded his status after news broke about the 2016 incidents.
The Bruins, who are 10-1-0 are off to one of the hottest starts they have had in a while. Now, lifelong fans of the team are left scratching their heads. Why, in their right mind, would the Bruins have any desire to take a chance on Miller? The Bruins have a solid core and leadership team which is the reason why they have such high chemistry this year. They also have a locked in AHL affiliate with many promising prospects such as Fabian Lysell and Marc McLaughlin. The Bruins fanbase is struggling to make heads or tails of the decision to sign Mitchell. The Bruins really don’t have any holes they need to fill, both at the major and minor league level. The only thing that this signing has offered to the team is damaged morale. Patrice Bergeron sat down with Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet to discuss the signing. “It goes against a little bit of what we are as a culture and as a team, and for me as a person.” Nick Foligno, an NHL veteran, also chimed in on the matter. “The culture we’ve built, and these guys have built before I got here is one of inclusion. I think it goes against that. I understand he was 14 when he made this mistake. But it’s hard for us to swallow.” Foligno says.
Many fans are taking a more enraged approach to the matter, as they should. Spending a mere couple of minutes on Bruins social media should tell you everything you know about what the fans think of the matter. Many people are calling for the Bruins to immediately terminate his contract. Others are taking the boycott path until the matter is resolved the proper way. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman let it be known to the public that he was not made aware that the Bruins had intentions to sign Miller, and as far as he is concerned, will not be eligible to play in the NHL. “The team that goes out on the ice and continues to battle to be where they are at rn doesn’t deserve this s***. Casting such a gross cloud that covers them because of the really bad decisions by the FO” FanDuel creator and host of the Unsportsmanlike Conduct podcast Brianna Pirre writes.
The Bruins front office has now dawned a dim light coming from a flickering bulb on the team as a whole. With long time veterans Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci coming to the ends of their careers, the future of their time with the Bruins in completely in the air. Considering it may be the final year of their respective careers, many would consider this season to be their “Last Dance”. Breaking out into an unimaginable start has now been shadowed with the actions of the front office. Bruins fans will have to see how the response to this signing affects their play. You can’t help but wonder, however, exactly what sense this made to everyone, and left many Bruins players asking the vital question: “why?”.