Here are the main takeaways:
Neely said it was her biggest regret
Neely called the situation “by far” his biggest regret as a Bruins manager. Among the many significant errors in Miller’s verification and signing, the main issue was that “we didn’t talk to the family,” Neely said.
“We dropped the ball,” Neely said, “and I’m here to apologize for that.”
Why didn’t they? “That’s a great question.”
Neely apologized to Meyer-Crothers in his Sunday night statement and said he would contact the family.
When asked if he assumed the team had spoken with the Meyer-Crouthers family, Neely replied that he “shouldn’t assume anything.”
Who was in charge of the verification?
Neely said it was a failure of the Bruins’ hockey operations department not to discover the extent of Miller’s heinous abuse of Meyer-Crothers. They believed, Neely said, that Miller made a singular mistake when he was 14 and worked to improve.
Neely was light on the details of this job.
‘From everything I heard he was working on himself, working in programs to get better,’ Neely said of the ‘new information’ cited by the team when severing ties. with Miller. “I felt like he was a 14-year-old kid who made a really, really bad decision and did horrible things, and he’s 20 now, so I felt like he, over the course of of the past six years, had done a lot of work on himself.
Neely was asked what her scouts thought of Miller.
“From a hockey perspective, scouts think he’s a player who can play,” he said. “From a character perspective, that’s where we failed.”
Scouts said they believe Miller has grown since the incident, and Neely said he believes in second chances.
“I believe in second chances, but maybe some don’t deserve it,” he said. “I’m not saying it particularly in this situation, but I believe in second chances.”
Neely also said he felt Miller should speak directly to commissioner Gary Bettman in order to be allowed to play in the NHL.
Neely wouldn’t say if there would be any punishments or penalties for anyone in the organization.
“I have more work to do.”
Was Neely worried about another team rushing to sign Miller?
A number of teams had approached Miller with an interest in signing him, a source told The Globe. Miller said Friday the Bruins offered him the best “resources,” after sitting down with management and “opening up about what I’ve done and what I want to do moving forward.” .
Neely said competition was not a factor.
“From my perspective, there was no rush and there was no pressure,” Neely said. “I didn’t care about other teams.”
So why did Neely sign?
“It was a decision we didn’t take lightly, I felt based on everything I knew he deserved a second chance.”
Why would the Bruins sign Miller when they are the hottest team in the league?
“The timing was never going to be right,” Neely said. “It was about whether we did it or not, and we made the wrong decision.”
Did Neely speak with Miller?
Neely did not speak directly to Miller about the decision to cut him.
He said that before Miller signed, he had a meeting with Miller, Miller’s mother, and Miller’s agent, Eustace King.
“I felt he was remorseful, I felt he had changed, that this time a second chance was warranted.
What changed between this date and Sunday evening?
“We didn’t have enough information,” Neely said. “We could have dug deeper.
On the timeline
On Friday, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said they had worked with Miller for six months.
Neely said the possibility of the team signing Miller “came to my attention in early August.
“…We said if we’re going to do this, we want to make sure he’s in the right programs and understands the values that we have with diversity and inclusion.”
On the role of team ownership
Neely said Charlie and Jeremy Jacobs were told the team needed to sever ties with Miller, but that was a decision that came from the hockey operations team.
“There are a lot of people who are disappointed today and I’m disappointed that we’re in this position,” Neely said. “We shouldn’t be in this position, we could have done a better job. We should have done a better job.
On the Bruins players’ response
Neely was asked if statements from current Bruins players weighed on him.
“There were a lot of factors in that decision,” he said, “and this was one of them.”
Captain Patrice Bergeron said Saturday he was consulted by the Bruins about a week ago.
“I had my concerns,” Bergeron said. “I shared my opinion. In a way, I think I didn’t necessarily agree with that — to be honest with you, I think the culture we’ve built here is against that kind of behavior. I think we are a team built on character and with strong individuals. What he did is obviously unacceptable. We don’t stop there.
Bergeron said he would want evidence of “growth and change” from Miller before entering the room.
“Really, if it’s the same 14-year-old that would walk into that locker room,” Bergeron said, “he wouldn’t be accepted and sought out and welcomed, to be honest with you.”
Neely said he and Sweeney spoke with the club on Saturday.
What’s the message to Bruins fans?
“I’m extremely upset that we made a lot of people unhappy with our decision,” Neely said. “I’m proud of the Bruins organization and what we stand for and we failed there.”
Katie McInerney can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac. Matt Porter can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @mattyports.
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