NHL Headlines: More fallout for former Coyotes draft pick Mitchell Miller, Bobby Orr gets political, and more

The fallout continues for Mitchell Miller after the Arizona Coyotes renounced his rights. Yesterday his college team, the University of North Dakota let him go.

Mitchell Miller racial incident

The Coyotes used their fourth round selection on Mitchell Miller in the 2020 Draft. In the last week, a report appeared in AZ Central detailing an incident from his childhood where he bullied a disabled black teen and used racial slurs.

According to reports, Miller wrote a letter to all 31 teams prior to the draft about the incident. Many teams excluded him outright from draft consideration. Arizona selected him and initially considered working with him in his racial and cultural diversity efforts. However, under immense pressure they opted to renounce Miller.

Miller released a statement prior to the Coyotes giving up his rights and it read:

“I am extremely sorry about the bullying incident that occurred in 2016 while I was in eighth grade,” he said. “I was young, immature and feel terrible about my actions. At the time, I did not understand the gravity of my actions and how they can affect other people. I have issued an apology to the family for my behavior, completed cultural diversity and sensitivity training and volunteered within my community with organizations such as Little Miracles. Over the past four years, I have had a lot of time to reflect and grow and I am very grateful to the Arizona Coyotes for taking a chance on me. I promise not to let them down. Moving forward, I want to be a leader for this cause and help end bullying and racism.”

Grand Forks Herald

Fallout Continues for Mitchell Miller

Mitchell Miller racial incident
Miller is no longer a Coyotes pick (Photo by Brad Elliott Schlossman / Grand Forks Herald)

The President of UND issued a statement of his own yesterday. He claims that the Arizona Coyotes decision had no bearing on the university’s choice to remove him from the hockey team but not the school.

“After much consideration and discussions with Mitchell, the Miller family, our Athletics Director, Bill Chaves, and Coach Brad Berry, I have decided that the best course of action for Mitchell and the University is that he no longer be a member of the UND Men’s Hockey program. Mitchell may remain a student at UND and we will continue to support his future intellectual and interpersonal growth. We wish Mitchell well in whatever path he chooses in his future endeavors.

Grand Forks Herald

It is uncertain at this time what is next for Miller and his pursuit of a hockey career.

Bobby Orr puts out a full page ad to endorse Donald Trump

Hockey legend, Bobby Orr came out in full support of U.S. President Donald Trump. He took out a full page ad in the Union Leader paper in New Hampshire stating, “That’s the kind of teammate I want.”

In the statement, Orr said that he had never done anything like this before. He did so because he’s “greatly concerned for the country in which I have raised my family”. The legendary hockey player expanded on that thought. “I want my grandchildren to know the America I know, a place of patriotism and opportunity.”

Orr also acknowledged people’s concerns with President Trump’s volatile personality. “Perhaps you do not like his tweets or how the President says things sometimes, and that is your right,” he explained. “But remember, this is not a personality contest; it’s about policies and the people those policies assist.”

Needless to say, this has left a number of hockey journalists and fans up in arms and disappointed. One went so far as to basically denounce Bobby Orr.

I for one cannot wait until this election season is over.

Other hockey news and notes

The hockey world lost a hero in Travis Roy. A college hockey player that sadly became paralyzed on his first shift after falling into the boards. Roy used his tragedy to be a source of inspiration to the disabled community and for anyone who believed they faced insurmountable challenges. He will be missed.