After a highly controversial and illustriously short stint with the Boston Bruins organization early last season, defenseman Mitchell Miller is no longer under contract with the team. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports the Bruins attempted to terminate Miller’s entry-level deal when they announced they’d parted ways with the 21-year-old just two days after signing him. He was not placed on unconditional waivers to execute the move, however, and the NHLPA filed a grievance. Brooks says Miller, the Bruins, and the NHLPA settled in February 2023 under the condition of confidentiality, granting Miller a one-time unknown payment and unrestricted free agent status. Miller’s contract was still active on Boston’s CapFriendly page until this weekend, though the site now shows his contract was officially terminated on April 30, 2023.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney signed Miller in November 2022 despite public knowledge that he’d been convicted of assault in 2016 for bullying and abusing Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities. Boston was not the first team to acquire Miller’s NHL rights, however – the Arizona Coyotes selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft but renounced his rights after the assault conviction became public despite knowing of his conviction at the time of the draft. Miller’s assault of his classmate, detailed by The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline after the Coyotes dropped him from their reserve list, included allegations of racial slurs toward Meyer-Crothers and multiple forms of physical and verbal bullying.
The Bruins moved on from Miller within hours of acquiring him, though, with team president Cam Neely apologizing that “this decision has overshadowed the incredible work the members of our organization do to support diversity and inclusion efforts.” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also said Miller was not eligible to play in the NHL and would need to have his status reviewed before being granted permission to play.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported in November that a settlement similar to the one eventually reached was one of three possibilities for Boston to contractually separate from Miller. After not playing at all in 2022-23, Brooks says Miller’s likiest option to continue a pro hockey career will be in Europe.