Bruins rent ex-AG to conduct assessment of vetting course of

The Boston Bruins have retained former U.S. Lawyer Common Loretta Lynch to conduct an unbiased assessment of their player-vetting course of after they signed prospect Mitchell Miller after which lower ties with him two days later amid intense backlash.

The Bruins introduced on Tuesday that Lynch, of the regulation agency of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, will “conduct an independent review of our player-vetting process” and make sure that “our process going forward reflects our core values.”

Boston mentioned it would totally cooperate with the assessment and can publicly disclose the outcomes.

“The Boston Bruins strive every day to live our values and meet the high standards our associates, fans and community have come to expect,” the Bruins mentioned in a press release launched Tuesday. “This includes treating everyone inside and outside our organization with dignity and respect. We recently fell short of our high standards and disappointed both ourselves and many in our community.”

The Bruins signed Miller, a 20-year-old defenseman, to an entry-level contract on Nov. 4 with the intention of sending him to AHL Windfall. The crew, nonetheless, introduced on Nov. 6 that it was reducing ties with Miller after intense backlash from followers, the crew’s gamers and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Miller stays beneath contract with the crew and is technically nonetheless a member of Windfall. Among the many choices for the Bruins: pay Miller to remain residence for this season after which purchase him out on the finish of the 12 months for one-third of his NHL wage; or to work with Miller and the NHLPA on a settlement that might permit him to grow to be a free agent.

He was a fourth-round decide of the Arizona Coyotes in 2020, however his draft rights have been relinquished when a narrative was revealed about how he and one other center college classmate have been convicted in juvenile court docket in 2016 of assaulting and bullying Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities.

Within the report, Meyer-Crothers’ mom alleged Miller started abusing her son in second grade and repeatedly used racial slurs. Miller admitted in an Ohio juvenile court docket that he used racial epithets in opposition to Meyer-Crothers, bodily assaulted him and at one level tricked him into “licking a candy push pop that Miller and another boy had wiped in a bathroom urinal,” in accordance with a police report.

Followers have been outraged by the signing of Miller, and Bruins veterans resembling Nick Foligno and Patrice Bergeron expressed disappointment. Bettman reiterated Miller wasn’t cleared by his workplace to play for the Bruins and “I can’t tell you that he’ll ever be eligible to come into the NHL.”

On Nov. 7, Boston president Cam Neely expressed concern over failures within the crew’s vetting course of in signing Miller. He cited “new information” when the crew walked away from Miller on Nov. 6. Neely mentioned the truth that the Bruins by no means reached out to the household of Meyer-Crothers “was concerning” and that it was “absolutely” an issue with the crew’s vetting course of.