In the wake of the Mitchell Miller scandal, the Boston Bruins are reexamining their player vetting process. On Tuesday, the Bruins announced that they are hiring an independent firm to review how the team evaluates potential player acquisitions.
On Nov. 4, the Bruins signed Mitchell to an entry-level contract and immediately received blowback from every angle. Mitchell was originally a 2020 NHL Draft pick by the Arizona Coyotes, but the team rescinded the pick when it was reported that a juvenile court convicted Miller of bullying and assaulting a black and learning disabled student.
Fans and media criticized the signing from every angle, and Boston chose to part ways with Miller just days after signing him.
Now, the Bruins have announced that they have hired a law firm, which includes former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to review their player vetting process. The team hopes to avoid a repeat of the Miller situation in the future.
"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 said in a statement. "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. Moving forward, we are committed to ensuring that our values are reflected in everything we do as an organization, including our process for vetting future players.
"As part of this commitment, the Boston Bruins have retained an experienced and respected team of professionals, led by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, to conduct an independent review of our player-vetting process. This will help us ensure that our process going forward reflects our core values. The Bruins organization will fully cooperate with the independent review team and will publicly disclose the results of the review upon its completion."
Upon releasing Miller from his contract, Bruins president Cam Neely.
"We are sorry that this decision has overshadowed the incredible work the members of our organization do to support diversity and inclusion efforts," Neely said. "We will continue to stand against bullying and racism in all of its forms.
"To [the student] and his family, my deepest apologies if this signing made you and other victims feel unseen and unheard. We apologize for the deep hurt and impact we have caused."