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NHL Notebook: Long time NHL executive Brian O’Neill dead at 94, Boston Bruins terminate the contract of Mitchell Miller, and the teams Erik Karlsson has talked trade with

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Aleena Aksenchuk
7 months ago
The hockey world is mourning the loss of long-time NHL executive Brian O’Neill, who passed on Friday morning at 94.
O’Neill became a foundation of the NHL when he joined its executive offices in 1966 after Clarence Campbell hired him to be the league’s director of administration. He devoted much of his life to improving the standard of play in the NHL.
A cornerstone for managing and creating the league’s complicated and extensive game schedule, O’Neill became a considerable part of the NHL’s growth as he oversaw the league’s expansion in 1967.
In 1971, his role increased as he was appointed executive director of the NHL, where he worked to limit the violent practices that surfaced within the game. In 1977, he became the league’s executive vice president and remained in that role until his retirement in 1992. His ability to accomplish results for the league without alienating people was largely respected.
“An elegant and erudite man, Brian served the League in myriad ways for more than 50 years, ultimately as Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
“He performed each and every role with modest grace, uncommon dignity and meticulous attention to detail that commanded universal respect and admiration – from fans, players, owners and Club executives and the media. On a personal level, for a good part of my 30 years as NHL Commissioner, Brian was a trusted advisor, providing counsel and guidance that has contributed to the continued growth of our game.”
Elected into the NHL’s Hall of Fame in 1994, O’Neill served as a trustee of the Stanley Cup until his death.

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Boston Bruins officially terminate Mitchell Miller’s contract

The Boston Bruins officially terminated the contract of controversial defenceman Mitchell Miller, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks reported Sunday morning.
Drafted 111th overall in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft by the Arizona Coyotes, the Coyotes chose to renounce him as its pick three days later when it was revealed he bullied a Black classmate, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, in the eighth grade. Meyer-Crothers suffers from a developmental disability.
Part of the bullying included the use of racial slurs, as well as Miller and another unnamed student forcing Meyer-Crothers to lick a lollipop that had been previously wiped against a bathroom urinal. Miller was charged with assault and violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act at the age of 14.
In early November, the Bruins announced they had signed Miller — who spent the 2021-22 season with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm winning the league’s Player of the Year award — to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The organization defended the signing but later revoked it after facing massive backlash. An independent investigation found no misconduct from the Bruins in regards to the signing, but noted “gaps in the club’s procedures.”
Reports at the time stated the contract had been terminated, but it didn’t become official until Saturday after the NHLPA had filed a grievance. Miller and the Bruins reached a settlement that saw Boston relieved of all obligations of Miller; he received an unknown sum and was granted free agency.
Here’s more on the details from Daily Faceoff‘s Scott Maxwell:
The Bruins eventually rescinded the signing, sending Miller home after he was originally supposed to play for their AHL team, the Providence Bruins. Along with that, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Miller was not eligible to play in the NHL, adding that they were not consulted by the Bruins before making the signing.
However, despite reports that his contract was terminated at that time, it wasn’t officially terminated until Saturday, and was even still listed on the Bruins contract lists on both CapFriendly and PuckPedia. According to Brooks, the NHLPA filed a grievance for the situation, with Miller and the Bruins reaching a settlement where the Bruins were relieved of all obligations of Miller while he got an unknown sum and was granted free agency.
Miller had apparently apologized to the family of Meyer-Crothers, which was the reason why the Bruins initially made the signing, but Meyer-Crothers later told the Bruins that it was only through social media. Meyer-Crothers released this statement on his experiences with Miller and Miller’s “apology” through the Hockey Diversity Alliance shortly after the Bruins made the signing.

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Karlsson has spoken to Leafs, Hurricanes, Penguins, and Kraken while awaiting trade

Over the past few weeks, plenty of conversation has transpired about San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson’s next move in the NHL.
Now he’s revealed he has spoken with a handful of teams around the league including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Seattle Kraken.
This past year, Karlsson became the first Swedish defenceman to register 100 points after a remarkable season where he scored 25 goals and 101 points and was awarded his third Golden Puck — a Swedish award given the country’s best ice hockey player — just one month after winning his third Norris Trophy at the NHL awards in June.
Karlsson stated in June that he would not return to play in California for his next campaign. The only thing that stands in his way is the $11.5 million cap hit that he carries for the next four years. Whichever team makes the deal for him will likely want Sharks general manager Mike Grier to retain a maximum of 50 percent, however, the team has reportedly pushed back on doing so.
Karlsson spoke on having no desire to be dealt to a specific destination and that he is open to the entire process, “No, I’m open about this process. I don’t have a chosen destination. I just want the best chance to get to the best team. Where it is, well, we’ll see.”

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