The Bruins’ failure to do their homework was something that really seemed to irk Neely.
When asked if this was a vetting issue, Neely offered a curt ‘absolutely’ and nothing more.
But with a misstep this great, that wasn’t going to fly.
“I shouldn’t assume anything,” Neely said when asked if he assumed that the Bruins had done their research and talked to the family. “I made it clear that we have to vet this out properly. When it first came to my attention in August, I said we have to vet this out properly. This is something that’s a massive decision for the organization to make.”
The Bruins felt comfortable enough to offer and sign Miller to an entry-level deal that maxed out bonuses and AHL salary. I asked Neely if his scouting team had given him enough data as to Miller’s change and growth.
“From a hockey standpoint, they think he’s a player that can play. From a character standpoint, that’s where we failed.”
In a follow up, Neely confirmed that the scouts believed that he had changed as a person.
But it was clear to Neely, who noted that the team needed to and should’ve done more digging on the player and situation, that this was a failure on the part of the hockey operations department.
“There’s a lot of people that are let down today,” Neely said. “I’m disappointed that we’re in this position. We shouldn’t be in this position. We could’ve done a better job, we should’ve done a better job.”
Neely did not rule out punishment and penalties for anybody in hockey ops.
“Something I have to deal with today and this week and see where it takes me,” Neely said. “I’ve got more work to do.”