The Boston Bruins on Thursday announced the findings and expected procedural changes spurred by an external investigation looking into the club’s signing of Mitchell Miller.
The review was led by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who interviewed multiple Bruins employees and reviewed thousands of documents related to Miller’s signing, according to the club release.
“The steps we are announcing today underscore our organization’s commitment to our values, including our process for vetting future players,” Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said in the statement. “These improvements, which the team will begin implementing immediately, will help ensure that we are meeting the high standards our associates, fans and community expect from this great organization.”
The review said Bruins employees didn’t commit any misconduct in the signing of Miler, who . But it did recommend the implementation of the following policy when it comes to player acquisitions.
• Establish clear written policies for vetting off-ice conduct, including identifying red flags requiring detailed vetting and documented resolution
• Establish clear timetables and responsibilities within the organization to investigate prospects’ community or other off-ice commitments
• Establish centralized documentation of vetting to include reporting on red flags and off-ice issues and ensure such documentation is available to all stakeholders involved in the process
• Establish tracking system to ensure responsibilities for all vetting tasks are clearly assigned and tracked.
• Utilize independent third-party resources to investigate and resolve factual issues when reviewing red flags
• Determine whether there are specific training or rehabilitation programs the prospect should participate in depending on the nature of the red flags
After he was signed the Bruins received a massive public backlash.
They claimed in the initial signing press release that they had done their homework, they’d vetted this seriously, and were serious about giving a second chance to a player that the Arizona Coyotes had renounced draft pick rights to in 2020 after reports resurfaced in The Arizona Republic that in 2016 Miller had and a classmate had been found delinquent in Ohio juvenile court for charges of assault and violating the Ohio Safe Schools act.
And then, step by step, everything began to unravel. They didn’t speak to the victim before the signing, they never cleared it with the NHL, and even the AHL – where Miller practiced with the Providence Bruins – wasn’t sure if he’d be allowed to play.
It should be noted that while the Bruins have stated they parted ways with Miller, he technically is still under contract with Boston. That’s a legal matter that still has to be sorted when it comes to potentially voiding the deal.