The Boston Bruins have terminated Mitchell Miller’s contract after the NHL deemed him ineligible to play in the league



CNN

The Boston Bruins terminated Mitchell Miller’s contract on Sunday after the National Hockey League ruled he was ineligible to join the team following a bullying incident involving the player as a young teenager.

The decision is effective immediately, just days after the Bruins signed Miller to an entry-level contract on Friday. It comes after the revelation of new information related to a bullying incident that led to serious consequences when the player was at school.

Miller was convicted of a bullying incident at age 14 in which he and another teenager, Isaiah Meyers-Crothers, tricked his black classmate into eating candy placed in a urinal, a report in the Arizona Republic revealed.

Miller and another teenager admitted to the harassment in Ohio juvenile court and were sentenced to community service, according to the Republic.

In explaining the decision to sign the now 20-year-old Miller in the first place, Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said the team carefully reviewed the facts as they learned, “He joined at 14. It was a bad decision that led to a minors sentence.”

“We understood that this was an isolated incident and that he had taken significant steps to reform and was committed to continuous personal development. We offered him a contract based on that understanding,” Neely said.

After new information emerged, the team decided it was in their best interest to drop the option. The group’s statement did not specify that information.

“We look forward to continuing to work with professionals and programs to further his education and personal growth,” Neely said.

Neely also apologized to Meyers-Crothers and his family for the signing, as well as members of the organization, fans, partners and the community.

“To Isaiah and his family, my deepest apologies if this signing has made you and other victims feel unseen and unheard. We apologize for the deep hurt and impact this has caused,” Neely said. “We will continue to oppose all forms of harassment and racism.”

Neely added, “Ultimately, as a father, I think there’s a lesson here for other young people to learn. Watch out for reckless behavior and going with the group mentality to hurt others. The reverberations can be felt for the rest of your life.’

On Saturday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Bruins did not consult the league before signing Miller, calling what Miller did as a 14-year-old “reprehensible” and “unacceptable.”

“He’s not coming to the NHL. He’s not NHL eligible at this point. I can’t tell you he’s going to be NHL eligible,” Bettman said while speaking at the NHL Global Series in Tampere, Finland.

“So the answer is they had the freedom to sign him to play elsewhere, that’s a different league issue, but nobody should think he’s NHL eligible at this point or ever could be. And the Bruins understand that now,” Bettman added.

The Arizona Coyotes drafted him in 2020, and the team later revoked his rights after the Republic’s report revealed the bullying conviction.

CNN reached out to Miller’s representative for comment and did not immediately respond.