On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported that defenseman Mitchell Miller currently remains under contract with the Boston Bruins and assigned to AHL Providence, as the team’s path to contractually walking away from him remains murky. Miller was convicted of assault in 2016 for bullying, harassing, and abusing Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities. The Bruins announced Sunday night that the team was parting ways with Miller after signing him to an entry-level contract earlier in the week.
Wyshynski outlined three options for the Bruins and Miller to legally part ways, although he won’t be playing in the NHL or AHL prior to his release. The first option is a buyout at the end of the season, which would result in a salary cap charge of $287,222 through 2027, or twice the remaining length of Miller’s entry-level contract. In this case, the Bruins would still owe Miller his contract money for the 2022-23 season, which would likely consist of his $95,000 signing bonus and $82,500 minor-league salary.
The second scenario is a settlement that allows Miller to become a free agent, worked on in conjunction with the NHLPA and Miller’s agent, Eustace King. Wyshynski notes a prospective settlement falls under NHLPA jurisdiction, despite Miller being assigned to the AHL and having no NHL experience.
The obvious last option is a traditional contract termination filed due to Miller’s past behavior, similar to the legal situation – not the backstory – between the San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane last season. Wyshynski notes that also similar to the Kane situation, the NHLPA is expected to file a grievance on behalf of Miller if the Bruins opted to terminate his contract. The NHLPA would also reportedly file a grievance if the Bruins opted to suspend Miller for the length of his contract without pay. In the case of Kane, he received a one-time payment of an undisclosed amount from the Sharks.
Wyshynski expects the legal action surrounding the situation to pick up later this week.