Breaking News - Boston Bruins CANNOT terminate the contract of Mitchell Miller, demote him to the AHL

Josh tupper
November 9, 2022  (12:43)

The plot continues to thicken in the case of Mitchell Miller. After being signed by the Boston Bruins, the backlash that followed was enough to make the team eventually agree to terminate his deal. The only problem? The Bruins are unable to legally terminate his deal at this time.

Friday afternoon news leaked that the Bruins had signed Miller to a 2-year contract. That deal was then registered by the Bruins with NHL Central Registry. Despite claims from Gary Bettman that Miller was ineligible to play, the deal was signed and registered. What came next has seemingly left everyone confused.
Monday morning, Boston Bruins President Cam Neely spoke to the media and informed everyone that he'd terminated Miller's deal with the club. That isn't actually the case though. During the regular season the only way a deal can be terminated is via mutual agreement, something Miller isn't willing to agree to, nor should he.
As of right now the Boston Bruins have assigned Mitchell Miller to their AHL affiliate Providence, but have told him not to report to the team. According to Greg Wyshynski the Bruins have very few options at this time:
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.

It's clear the errors made by the NHL and the Boston Bruins are piling up. There is very little either part is able to do at this time, and that isn't Miller's or his agent's problem. The lack of due diligence by the Bruins and lack of prevention by this league were all preventable, but neither party wanted to do the work involved.
It's clear with all things considered the NHL is deserving of just as much blame as the Bruins in this situation, and it's very likely a poor decision by the Bruins will net Miller hundreds of thousands of dollars for one weekend of employment.
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