It’s done. It’s over.
Or rather, it’s been over for awhile now, we just know the details of it now.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post was able to confirm via email from the team that Mitchell Miller is no longer under contract with the team as of February 2023. Miller was signed back in 2022, and the team received a firestorm of well-deserved criticism for this signing, given that Miller’s off-ice behavior leading up to his draft day.
According to Brooks and the Post’s sports desk, the Bruins terminated the contract at the same time they dissolved their relationship with the player, and then the NHLPA filed a grievance after it was discovered that this was not a mutual agreement to terminate the contract. After a hearing, Miller was paid a sum, the Bruins were let off the hook, and now Miller is considered a free agent. This agreement was done back in February under the hope of confidentiality, which clearly didn’t work to the team’s favor, as the contract held like an albatross around their necks far later than it should’ve. The exact sum paid is unknown.
Everything I wanted to say regarding the situation has already been said in this piece here, but I do want to just paraphrase something I put at the end;
Mitchell Miller is probably never going to play professional hockey in North America unless it’s a very low tier league, and even then he’ll bring his problems with him. This is the end of this saga.
But there will be another Mitchell Miller. Or Logan Mailloux. We’re still currently waiting on a report that might reveal several of them at once.
NHL Teams are not bastions of good decision-making on their own; their morality is tied directly to their bottom line, and if their scouts and GM say they want to do something, they are going to do it and justify themselves afterwards. Their jobs are to make a team as good as it can be, and they will say whatever you need to hear in order to keep you from pulling your Season Tickets, and squeeze just the tiniest amount of points out of a player that they can for a shot at Glory.
It is, as always, up to us, the fans; the season ticket holders, the people who pay for the hot dogs and hamburgers and Bahn Mi and Meatball Subs and chicken tenders, the people in the stadium, the people who have made this sport what it is, for good and for ill, to make sure that teams actually do their due diligence and if they fail to do so; raise hell, and give them a good reason to undo their mistake, and prevent it in the future.
As for Miller, he got paid several hundred thousand dollars, and I imagine in the KHL or any number of European leagues he will be able to do the same. I sincerely hope he sees this saga as a chance to sincerely reflect on what happened and why he was at the center of it.
But then, he’s had plenty of chances to do that before. If he hasn’t done it yet, then I’m not sure he’s ever going to do so. After all, Redemption starts from within.
But for now, this chapter is closed. We now await news of Jeremy Swayman, Trent Frederic, and Patrice Bergeron, or even guys like Erik Karlsson.
Those players who are far more worth your time than some USHL Overager who lucked into hundreds of thousands by successfully hoodwinking a number of scouts.
We can only hope we never have to open another chapter like this one again.