The Chicago Blackhawks are in hot water, dealing with major on-ice and off-ice issues revolving around their franchise with major news breaking out after an investigation by the NHL. This investigation found the franchises’ poor handling of sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010, during the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup run.
Additionally, the NHL is fining the Blackhawks $2 million for the “organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response in the handling of matters related to Aldrich’s employment with the Club and ultimate departure in 2010.” An unidentified former Blackhawks player referred to as “John Doe” filed a lawsuit in May 2021 claiming that Aldrich sexually assaulted him and another player during the 2010 Stanley Cup run.
Many members of the Chicago Blackhawks front office are being questioned after shoving the issue under the rug and not handling the situation effectively. The Blackhawks general manager and president of hockey operations, Stan Bowman, resigned from his position along with senior director of hocket administration, Al MacIsaac, meaning no Blackhawks executives from the 2010 team remain with the organization. Bowman also resigned from his position as the general manager of the U.S men’s Olympic hockey team.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has arranged personal meetings with Winnipeg Jets current general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and Florida Panthers current head coach Joel Quenneville, who both were part of the Blackhawks organization in 2010 and knew about the sexual assault. But ultimately, Blackhawks management decided not to address the situation and instead focus on their Stanley Cup run.
The Blackhawks organization stated, “It is clear the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling these disturbing incidents. We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected and the failure to promptly respond. As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to the individuals who suffered from these experiences. We must — and will — do better.”
On October 27, former Chicago Blackhawks forward Kyle Beach came forward as “John Doe”. Beach was drafted in the 1st round with the 11th pick in the 2008 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks but never played an NHL game for the franchise and now is playing overseas in Germany. Beach filed a lawsuit against the team earlier this year and gave an emotional and powerful interview on TSN describing the situation.
The Chicago Blackhawks released a statement regarding Kyle Beach, “First, we would like to acknowledge and commend Kyle Beach’s courage in coming forward. As an organization, the Chicago Blackhawks reiterate our deepest apologies to him for what he has gone through and for the organization’s failure to promptly respond when he bravely brought this matter to light in 2010. It was inexcusable for the then-executives of the Blackhawks organization to delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct. No playoff game or championship is more important than protecting our players and staff from predatory behavior. The Blackhawks have implemented numerous changes and improvements within the organization, including hiring a new leadership team that is committed to winning championships while adhering to the highest ethical, professional, and athletic standards.”
More details about the investigation will clear up in the near future and The Game Haus will keep you updated.
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