NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2022

by | Nov 5, 2022 | News, NHL | 33 comments

Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine shine as the Avalanche and Blue Jackets square off in Finland, Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes over the Sabres, reaction to the Bruins signing prospect Mitchell Miller, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, as part of the NHL’s 2022 Global Series. Finnish stars Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine shone in front of a sellout crowd with Rantanen tallying a hat trick for the Avalanche while Laine had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets. Nathan MacKinnon collected four assists for the Avs (5-4-1) while the Jackets fall to 3-8-0.

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche and Blue Jackets will face off again at Nokia Arena on Saturday to complete the second game of their Global Series.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho netted a hat trick and added an assist to lead his club over the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 5-3. Martin Necas had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes (8-2-1) while the Sabres (7-4-0) got two assists from rookie winger Jack Quinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friday was a good day for three of Finland’s top forwards.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed prospect defenseman Mitchell Miller yesterday to a three-year entry-level contract.

A 2020 fourth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes, the club renounced Miller’s draft rights after it emerged that he was convicted in juvenile court at age 14 for brutally bullying disabled classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, including hurling racial slurs at him and physically demeaning him for years.

Miller admitted in juvenile court in 2016 that he and a classmate made Meyer-Crothers lick a lollipop that had been contaminated in a urinal, resulting in the victim having to undergo numerous tests for HIV, hepatitis and various sexually transmitted diseases. Meyer-Crother’s mother, Joni, revealed Miller never apologized to her son for his actions for years before reaching out last week on Instagram rather than contacting them directly.

SPORTSNET: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney met with the media to officially announce Miller’s signing. He said he struggled with the decision to sign the young defenseman.

Mitchell’s paid a punishment, and he’s going to carry that for the rest of his life,” said Sweeney. “We’re going to hold him to a standard.”

However, Sweeney also admitted, “This decision could be wrong…It invited a lot of negativity that we didn’t need or want.”

In an interview with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said he was “on the fence” about the decision, saying as a team the Bruins stand for “integrity, and inclusion, and diversity obviously.” He felt that Miller’s signing “goes against what we are as a culture and as a team, and for me as a person.” Bergeron acknowledged he’d been told that Miller was working hard to make some changes but believes “the work is on him.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are catching hell for this move in the media and on social media, especially from their fans and local pundits. To make matters worse, management reportedly didn’t bother contacting Meyer-Crothers’ family during their vetting of Miller.

Some of the players in their leadership group questioned the decision when they were informed of the club’s intentions to sign Miller. If you’re a general manager or team president and your well-respected team captain is publicly questioning a signing, you might want to reconsider your plans.

Miller’s signing is just the latest in a string of recent stories of the toxic culture that exists within the game and its reflection on the NHL as a standard bearer for the sport. It gives the impression that the league in particular and the sport as a whole have learned nothing.

For better or worse, the Bruins are willing to give Miller a second chance. Like the Montreal Canadiens’ Logan Mailloux, it’s on him to prove that he’s learned from his transgression, that he’s genuinely remorseful for his actions and will never repeat them, and is willing to advocate against such atrocious behavior within the hockey community.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are officially up for sale with the condition that the new owner will keep the team in Ottawa. It’s expected the sale will take place within the coming months. There is expected to be no shortage of interested parties, especially with the Senators winning preferred bidder status to construct a new arena just 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa at LeBreton Flats.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the conspiracy theorists suggesting a prospective owner could pay lip service toward keeping the team in Ottawa only to up and move them within a few years after purchasing the club. It was nonsense anyway since any attempt to do so would require NHL approval. League commissioner Gary Bettman wants the Senators to remain in Ottawa.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Beck Malenstyn will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair a fractured left finger.


  1. What he did as a 14 year old was gross and ignorant and there is no excuse for such behaviour. But I also do not think your life should be destroyed for something you did when you were a child Let his actions as an adult define his future

    • He never legitimately apologized…

      • There are a lot of ex-cons who never apologized. The measure of a man is not the words that come out of his mouth, but his actions. Let’s see what this guy does.

      • How many ex-cons playing in the NHL right now? As though ex-cons just have some “clean slate” lol

  2. Surprising, to most maybe shocking might be a better description.

    I’m not saying it’s right but look on the other side of the fence “Maybe a friend or someone in your family made some disparaging remarks about someone in your community when you were a kid. If you somehow repeat those same sentiments, and no one ever corrected you, it festers.

    some people from the time they utter their first word are raised to be racist. People can change that’s a fact. And it’s like Sweeney the Man I love to hate says Miller’s on a short rope, one step out of line and he’ll be the one who drives him back to the airport in my opinion he didn’t do enough to placate the family on the young fella who had to endure all of this hate and abuse. In fact Miller should have volunteered to meet with the family and personally have said he was sorry.

    Mitchell would have been a 1st round pick easily in the top ten. Take a look at his stats But no one wanted to take a chance on him because of the baggage he left behind. But I’m convinced If not Sweeney some other team would eventually give him a try. The Kid has got talent. I mean who knows maybe Sweeney’s got Miller involved in some kind of program to help the guy he did mention he intends to have Mitchell out in the community.

    Give him a chance Tony DeAngelo had three chances and he appears to have turned a corner.
    Did you hear that? the do gooders are galloping up over the hill on their White steeds ready to do a little verbal jousting.

    • Wholey bat poo robin. We agree on something. Im buy a 649 ticket😎

    • Miller was a fourth-round pick in 2020 by the Coyotes. It was after the draft that his personal baggage bubbled to the surface. He wasn’t considered a certain first-round pick in that draft by any stretch and it wasn’t because no one would take a chance on him.

      • 100% correct Lyle. I believe Rick was referring to what a nhl executive said yesterday that if he was in this years draft he would be a 1st rd pick

      • Okay let me rephrase that then, if the draft was held in 2022 and those unfortunate turn of events never happened I believe Mitchell would have been a first rounder.

    • Rick said it really well IMO. Especially the part about how kids are raised, as that is what they learn and that is what they know. Hopefully he has learned from this.

      He needs to apologize in person.

      He needs to put in the work to continue to be given another chance, they are earned. Playing in the NHL is not a right, it is earned as well.

      Hope it works out for him, if it doesn’t, he will have earned that too.

    • Other arguments aside, the Bruins are the talk of the league celebrating the early returns of Marchand and McAvoy, cruising along under a new coach, beating everyone they play and Sweeney decides to step right in the middle of a massive pile of crap negating all that they have accomplished as well as alienating some if not all of his players. It will be interesting to see what happens now.

      • It negates nothing the team has done in the season. The kid is providence getting a chance to show with his actions that what he did as a 14 year old is not who he wants to be as an adult. Time will tell if he puts in the work or gets canned

  3. shame on the Bruins. I guess you could expect these tonedeaf decisions like signing this kid, not to an AHL deal but a 3-year pro contract, when you have two jocks (Neely and Sweeney) making the decisions.
    Bergevin got grief from his owner for drafting Mallioux, but the silence from Bruins ownership is deafening

    • I’m glad that no one with your attitude ever had any control over me. I’d never have gotten a job and would have been homeless for nearly 50 years.

  4. Here goes the woke society…

    That 14yr old kid life should be destroyes!!! No redemption for him.

    What he and his friends did was 100% wrong.

    As a society we should look for growth as a child grows up.

    I find the Boston media funny! Talk about quality character people on the team etc. Did they forget Brad Marchand is on the team?

    I like Marchand and no he didn’t do the things Miller did at 14 and younger.

    Hi on ice actions and the fact he got benched on game 7 in the q doesn’t scream solid character.

    I don’t understand today people, they want to destroy a person life, for their actions as a child.

    • Then he should be a man and apologize in person.

    • Life is not DESTROYED just because you can’t play hockey! This guys got another 50+ years to live as a free man. There are a lot of ways to live your life and contribute to society without hockey.

    • When someone is ‘triggered’ it means the are brought back to the moment of the initial trauma and feel EXACTLY as it did the original time.

      Sights, sounds, smells, etc. can do this (and, yes, it is a real thing).

      Now imagine how Miller’s survivor feels EVERYTIME he sees a urinal….

      Does ‘Sorry” really cut it? I do not know, only his survivor can answer that….

    • @caper: haha, that was the first tjing I thought as well when reading the article. ”Solid character” and you stand behind Marchand?! He is still a bully and is a danger to others. And none of Bergeron or Foligno has done anything stupid in their early teens, most likely.
      It’s not ok to bully, but the double standard here is so massive I can’t read all the qoutes.

  5. Mike.
    Sweeney is a havard grad. Not just a jock so not a dumb person by any stretch of the imagination

  6. How was Friday a “good day” for Laine? His team lost and their season looks over before it’s even begun.

    Bruins… Stupid, stupid, stupid move.

  7. Bullying is never acceptable but kids do stupid things all the time. They need time to mature and figure life out. So giving Miller a second chance makes sense to me. He is now an adult and must prove he has matured.

  8. Good points for and against Miller and the issues of accountability and remorse.

    But I have to agree with Lyle’s view. Read what Bergeron had to say again. Pretty clear how he feels, and yet B’s management pushed past the views of one of the best Bs of all time. Hard to understand why they would go ahead anyway. Not as if Miller is a franchise player.

    • Dont get ro caught up in what Bergeron and Foligno have said.

      They are 100% correct in their view and it was more then likely encourage by management.

      The decision falls 100% on management.

      No one at the age of 14 should have the dreams taken away.

      Wonder if any NHL player of today was ever involved in hassing.

      Hopefully for the victim and his family they have learned to move on. Cannot allow the disgusting actions of these individual to consume anymore of your thoughts.

      • I have every faith that Bergeron, with his stature and character, spoke his own words without any need for support or prompting from management. To suggest that I not get caught up in what he said is to miss my point entirely.

  9. Regarding Miller, here’s a plot twist we definitely didn’t see coming. From NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger:

    “Bettman said Miller is not eligible for the #nhl … and is not sure he ever will be. Added the league was not consulted before #bruins signed him.”


    • First good thing Bettman has ever done, did not seeing that twist coming…

    • I have special needs kids. They’re young men now. I know how hard this is for the victim of Miller. My boys went through much worse than what’s been reported to have happened to that poor young man.
      I know we should forgive people for transgressions against us, but there’s times I’d like to track down those kids (who are all adults now) and extract vengeance. I also know that is wrong, but I still feel it sometimes.
      Sad part is those kids probably don’t even remember because it wasn’t significant to them, unlike my sons, who have core memories of the acts.

      I don’t care about the Signing. I have no control over who Sweeney employs. The only thing I can control is which team I choose to root for. I will still cheer for the Bruins, but I won’t cheer for the kid. I hope he has it in him to be a good man and show genuine remorse and growth.
      It’s a tough one. I wouldn’t have signed him, but I get why they did. Very short sighted, unless they make him live with Chara. He very well could be a victim of a terrible upbringing. I don’t know his family, but I know how it works first hand. I heard terrible terms to describe different folks back in the day. Some of the elders were extremely rough and inconsiderate with their use of the language whilst describing non white folks. That was pure ignorance. There is no excuse in today’s world.

  10. I can’t understand why they didn’t consult Bettman before any of this went down much I have a lot disdain for Bettman every bit as much as for Sweeney . But,He should have been the second party after Jacobs before he went through with this. Now it’s a complete and utter mess, unless Sweeney does some quick mending and bettman’sgonna need a lot more than instant grovelling this is only get worse.

  11. 🇺🇸Boston play the Maple Leafs tonight……😳
    if the Leafs get a Thumped again from the Bruins…
    and that will happen…..✔️

    Then the 🍁Maple leaf managment need to Trade one of the big 4 from up front and get a GOOD offencive d/man to repplace him, leafs d/ is Brutal

    1st choice to trade of of Toronto is
    is RW Mitch Marner At $10.9M for 3 more years
    they could put $4M in the pocket to help trade for a fill in RW they can afford to replave MM❓

    2nd choice
    C John Tavares at $11.M for 3 more years

    Leafs Can’t trade Austin Mathews he is your Best Forward
    Nylander is on $6.9 is on a good deal for 2 more years, but is a UFA same time as mathews🤔

    Trade for RD Erik Karlsson from the sharks ONLY if the Sharks keep 40% to 50% of his Salary for the next 4 years⁉️
    if not look at the Ducks RD man John Klingberg who is a UFA at the end of the year duck are in a Re-build mode and have lots of Cap space

    Leafs D is on the Right Side HORIBLE….
    they will never Win anything with this line up, never mind getting out the First Round Again…. it will be Six in a Row,❗️
    Golfing againin April….🧹🙈

  12. Full statement on Mitchell Miller’s signing by the Bruins from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman:

    “What I understand and I’ve heard through the media anecdotally, what he did as a 14-year-old is reprehensible, unacceptable,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Before the Bruins made the decision to sign him, we were not consulted. I happened to talk to Cam Neely since the time he was signed.

    “He’s not coming into the NHL, he’s not eligible at this point to come into the NHL. I can’t tell you that he’ll ever be eligible to come into the NHL,” Commissioner Bettman said. “If, in fact, at some point they think they want him to play in the NHL, and I’m not sure that they’re anywhere close to that point, we are going to have to clear him and his eligibility and it’ll be based on all the information that we get firsthand at the time.

    “So the answer is they were free to sign him to play somewhere else, that’s another league’s issue, but nobody should think at this point he is or may ever be NHL eligible. And the Bruins understand that now.”

    Asked what he would need to see from Miller, Bettman said, “I would need to see a whole bunch of things and understand a lot more firsthand than I do now anecdotally.”

    • A very reasonable statement from Mr. Bettman. Especially the last part.

  13. When I first heard this I said to myself this isn’t going to be good for the Bruins then thought about it, Miller was a very young person when he said and did what he did, but he needed to apologize to the person directly, everyone deserves a chance to get himself or herself right. I’m thinking this was a misstep in his young life and hope he’s learned from his mistake, lots of eyes and ears will be on him .