For those of you who don’t know, the Chicago Blackhawks organization and those associated with them are in a heap of trouble due to sexual assault charges and findings from an assault over a decade ago.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has “stepped aside” from his role, the team announced Tuesday. Senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac is out, too, the team announced.
That announcement came as the Blackhawks released the results of an independent investigation that they commissioned to law firm Jenner and Block. The investigation was relating to sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Alrich.
Following the resignation of both Bowman and MacIsaac, the NHL also put down a $2 million dollar fine on the Hawks organization due to their reported cover up of the situation.
Kyle Beach Speaks Out
For the entirety of the investigation, and for the first part of the media reporting, the person who is suing the Blackhawks for sexual assault was listed as John Doe.
However, after the mentioned punishments were doled out, Kyle Beach, former physical power forward for the Blackhawks during their 2010 Stanley Cup run, stepped forward as the previously named John Doe in the investigation.
In 2010, the then 20-year-old Beach joined the Blackhawks as an “ace in the hole” and was added just nearing the start of the playoffs, right before the Blackhawks were in the midst of what would become a Stanley Cup run.
Aldrich, who was 27 at the time, was the team’s video coach. The investigation found that he invited Beach to his apartment during the second week of May, providing dinner and drinks. Beach said Aldrich threatened his place on the team and sexually assaulted him that night.
Beach was quoted to say, “To be honest, I was scared mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark.”
After the assault, Beach went on to report the event to other members of the team. After being notified by skills coach Paul Vincent, mental skills coach and team counselor Jim Gary brought Beach’s allegations in front of other leaders of the Blackhawks front office including Team President John McDonough, Executive Vice President Jay Blunk, Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Joel Quenneville.
Due to the current standing of the team as one of the best in the league, and a Stanley Cup hopeful, the team decided to avoid bad publicity, and not make the situation public. They even decided not to remove Aldrich from his position until after they won the cup.
Aldrich was found to have also sexually assaulted a Blackhawks intern later that same Stanley Cup run, and after resigning from his position due to pressure from the organization, he was later found guilty for sexually assaulting a minor for a high school team in Michigan that he worked for.
More Punishment to Come?
Thursday, former head coach of the Blackhawks, and now coach of the 7-0-0 Florida Panthers, Joel Quenneville will meet with Gary Bettman to establish his role and how he participated with the Blackhawks during the assault allegations.
He could be out of a job, along with current GM of the Winnipeg Jets Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was assistant GM of the Blackhawks at the time, the right hand man to Stan Bowman.
Whether they will be fired, forced to resign, or further punished is unknown, but based on the findings of the report, and the little effort that they made to make sure that Beach was treated and comfortable, there is a good chance that they both get let go.