Blackhawks react to scandal, departure of GM: 'Probably change that needed to happen'

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Chicago Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz addressed the team Wednesday morning after the findings of a sexual abuse investigation within the organization, leading to the resignation of general manager Stan Bowman, were released Tuesday.

The team-commissioned investigation, conducted by the law firm Jenner & Block, discovered team leaders including Bowman, former coach Joel Quenneville (now coaching the Florida Panthers) and ex-assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (now general manager of the Winnipeg Jets), did nothing when a player alleged then-video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him.

Quenneville is set to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday and a meeting between Bettman and Cheveldayoff is being set up, according to ESPN, to discuss each of their roles in the case.

Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat supported moving on from Bowman.

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Stan Bowman joined the Blackhawks in 2005.
Stan Bowman joined the Blackhawks in 2005.

"It's a big change, I think probably change that needed to happen," he told reporters Wednesday. "I understand why him and the Blackhawks had to part ways. I get it. My time with Stan, he's been nothing but great to me. But, like I said, I understand the reasoning. With everything that happened, it's probably a good thing that we parted ways."

Said defenseman Connor Murphy, according to ESPN: "It was a very sad day to see that release and to hear those stories. Your heart goes out to the victims. It's a very serious thing, that's very sad and tragic that happened."

The NHL fined the team $2 million for “the organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response.”

DeBrincat said the organization addressed the situation with the players. He added that he's been treated with nothing but respect from the team in his time there.

"The overriding message was that 'the organization is here for you," coach Jeremy Colliton said.

Bowman became the Blackhawks general manager in 2009 and the team won three Stanley Cups during his tenure. He also resigned as general manager of the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, nearly 100 days away from the Beijing Games.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Blackhawks react to scandal, Stan Bowman departure: 'Change' needed