Boston Bruins

  • The Bruins’ regrettable signing of Mitchell Miller, which lasted all of 56 hours, has hit the ‘independent review’ stage, according to the latest statement put out by the team on Tuesday afternoon.

    “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 statement began. “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.”

  • WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch arrives to meet with the House Judiciary Committee on Capital Hill on December 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. Lunch was called on by the House Judiciary Committee for a closed door meeting. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 19: Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch arrives to meet with the House Judiciary Committee on Capital Hill on December 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

  • The U.S. Attorney General from 2015 through 2017, the 63-year-old Lynch has experience with investigations in the world of sports predating her time in Washington. Most notably, Lynch supervised the investigation into corruption within FIFA, which led to multiple indictments involving FIFA senior officials, marketing executives, and ultimately paved the way for the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

    Most recently, Lynch was hired by the National Football League to look into allegations of misconduct against the Washington Commanders, led by owner Dan Snyder.

    This, all things considered, is about as ‘big’ as the Bruins can get when it comes to an independent review.

  • VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: (L-R) Don Sweeney and Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins attend the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 21: (L-R) Don Sweeney and Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins attend the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • These next steps in the internal investigation come eight days after Bruins president Cam Neely held court with the media and addressed the obvious missteps made by the team leading up to the signing of Miller.

    “I’m disappointed that we’re in this position,” Neely admitted in a 16-minute press conference back on Nov. 7. “We shouldn’t be in this position. We could’ve done a better job [and] we should’ve done a better job.”

    During that presser, Neely did not rule out punishments or penalties for hockey ops.

    “Something I have to deal with [Monday] and this week and see where it takes me,” Neely, who was not spotted with the team during Sunday’s home game, said. “I’ve got more work to do.”

    Things have only intensified since then, with Miller’s agent appearing on a podcast and making several contradictory comments about the Bruins’ signing of his client, and Isaiah Meyer-Crothers releasing a heartbreaking statement of his own through the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

  • And while it’s clear that he’ll never play a game for the organization, the Bruins still have no idea what they are going to do with Miller’s contract. The sides are unlikely to come to a mutually agreed upon contract termination (especially with Miller unlikely to land anywhere else in the NHL), and in the eyes of Miller’s camp any character clause violations that would termination the contract would have to come with new violations or incidents. What happened six years ago and the Bruins not doing their homework on that would not file under a new violation.

    As for what it means for the Black and Gold’s front office, that remains a big mystery at this point.

    Talking to people around the league, there doesn’t seem to be a set consensus view as to what should happen. Some have believed that the blame should fall on Cam Neely, and others believe Don Sweeney deserves the blame. Some even believe the blame should extend beyond the general manager and president.

    In regards to this being a fireable offense, that depends on who you talk to. And it may very well be why the Bruins are bringing a Lynch-led independent review into the equation in the first place.