Boston Bruins President Cam Neely: “We dropped the ball and I’m here to apologize. … We could have done a better job. We should have done a better job.” AP file photo

In the end, the Boston Bruins got it right. Where do they go from here?

On Sunday, the team turned an about face and announced it would rescind a contract offer to Mitchell Miller, a 20-year-old prospect who had bullied a Black classmate with developmental disabilities in middle school.

Miller, a 2020 draft pick of the Arizona Coyotes, was released by the Coyotes after they learned more about his past. In 2016, Miller was convicted of assault on the classmate, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers.

Bruins fans were in an uproar after an announcement made late Friday that Boston had signed Miller to a three-year deal worth a minimum of $500,000.

Within hours, Bruins players — including captain Patrice Bergeron — and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear they had problems with the signing. Within days, the team had walked back from its announcement.

“We dropped the ball and I’m here to apologize,” Bruins President Cam Neely said during a news conference on Monday.


It was a stunning end to a three-day saga that began with the announcement of Miller’s signing late Friday afternoon. It continued when Bergeron said, “the culture that we’ve built here goes against that type of behavior.” The firestorm continued Saturday, with the Bruins prepping for a Hockey Night in Canada showdown against Toronto, when Bettman announced that Miller was ineligible to play in the NHL, and that the commissioner couldn’t say if he would “ever be eligible to come into the NHL.”

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said Friday the team signed Miller after doing due diligence on the bullying. Later we found out the organization never spoke with the victim’s family. On Monday, Neely admitted that was the biggest mistake the team’s hockey operations department made.

Neely said an internal review of the signing would begin this week, and didn’t leave out the possibility of discipline for those within the organization.

“That’s something I have to deal with today and this week and see where it takes me,” Neely said.

In addition to those discussions, Neely said he would be speaking with Meyer-Crothers, the victim of Miller’s bullying. “I want to apologize to Isaiah and his family. It’s something they shouldn’t continue to go through.”

Now, the Bruins hope their fans can give the organization a second chance. All of this comes in the midst of the team’s best start in history under new coach Jim Montgomery. The former UMaine Black Bear was given his own second chance after many teams passed on him because of history of struggles with alcoholism.


He has proven to be the perfect man to lead the dressing room, leading the black and gold to the best record in the league.

Now, his bosses in the front office have to prove they can lead the organization back from a weekend that took all the attention off of the team’s success on the ice. Admitting their mistake was the first step toward earning fans’ trust once again.

“There’s a lot of people that are let down today,” Neely said, “and I’m disappointed that we’re in this position. We shouldn’t be in this position. We could have done a better job. We should have done a better job.”

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. He is a graduate of Lewiston High School.

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