The Boston Bruins have limited options with Mitchell Miller, the defenseman they signed Friday and cut ties with two days later in the wake of public outcry.
The Bruins signed Miller, 20, to an entry-level contract with the intention of sending him to AHL Providence. He remains under contract with the team and is technically still a member of Providence.
According to NHL sources, there are a few ways to remedy this situation for Boston:
• The Bruins could simply decide to pay Miller to stay home for this season and then buy him out at the end of the year for one-third of his NHL salary. According to Cap Friendly, his NHL case salary is $ 750,000, with $ 95,000 in signing bonus money and a maximum of $ 105,000 in performance bonuses for the 2022-23 season.
• The Bruins could work with Miller, agent Eustace King and the NHLPA on a settlement that would allow him to become a free agent. While Miller is in the AHL, this would fall under NHLPA jurisdiction.
• The Bruins or the NHL could seek to terminate the contract because of Miller’s history. The collective bargaining agreement gives commissioner Gary Bettman powers to expel a player from the NHL, for example. But a source told ESPN that the NHLPA would be expected to file a grievance in this case. The same goes for any kind of multiyear suspension to essentially nullify the contract.
Miller was a fourth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2020, but his draft rights were relinquished when a story was published about how he and another middle school classmate were convicted in juvenile court in 2016 of assaulting and bullying Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities. In the report, Meyer-Crothers ‘mother alleged Miller began abusing her son in second grade and repeatedly used racial slurs.
The Bruins informed the NHL last Wednesday that they were interested in signing Miller. They inked him to a deal that was registered by the league Friday. Immediately, fans were outraged. Bruins veteran players like Nick Foligno and Patrice Bergeron expressed disappointment in media interviews.
Bettman said last week that Miller was not eligible to play in the NHL, and that “I can’t tell you that he’ll ever be eligible to come into the NHL.”