Stan Bowman 'steps aside' after findings released in Blackhawks sexual assault scandal
Results from the investigation into allegations that members of the Chicago Blackhawks management team failed to act after an inappropriate incident between a member of the coaching staff and player has resulted in several departures from the organization.
General manager Stan Bowman, senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac and other members of the 2010 Stanley Cup management team will no longer work for the organization following the results of an independent investigation released Tuesday.
The Jenner & Block investigation found that Bowman, MacIsaac, former president John McDonough, former executive vice president Jay Blunk, former assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, and former head coach Joel Quenneville met to discuss the allegations against former video coach Bradley Aldrich after they were informed internally, and that no action was taken until three weeks after the meeting — and after the Blackhawks won their first championship in decades — when McDonough reported the allegations to human resources.
McDonough, Blunk, Cheveldayoff and Quenneville had already moved on from the organization. Cheveldayoff is the current general manager of the Winnipeg Jets. Quenneville coaches the Florida Panthers.
It was also found in the investigation that another incident occurred within the three-week time frame between the time the sexual assault was reported and when it was escalated to human resources, and that Aldrich was allowed to "participate in celebrations in the presence of" the player whose identity remains confidential.
It was found that McDonough "did not want any negative publicity during the Stanley Cup Finals" and that McDonough and Quenneville discussed what sort of impact reporting the incident would have on the team's performance and task at hand.
It was McDonough, according to Bowman, who indicated that he would handle the situation. McDonough first reported the incident on June 14, or five days after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and more than three weeks after the incident initially surfaced with management.
Aldrich was given the option to leave through human resources in lieu of an investigation. He was still given a day that summer to host the Stanley Cup. His name is engraved on the trophy.
He was arrested and pled guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor three years later.
There was no evidence that ownership knew of the incident prior to a lawsuit filed earlier this year. Chairman Rocky Wirtz and his son Danny made the announcement Tuesday.
Chicago's assistant general manager, Kyle Davidson, is taking over on an interim basis as the club starts the process of rebuilding its management team.
Neither the Jets or Panthers have commented on the roles of Cheveldayoff or Quenneville, both who previously denied knowledge of the incident.
USA Hockey has also not commented on Bowman, who was named the GM of the U.S. Olympic team.
The NHL fined the Blackhawks $2 million for "inadequate internal procedures."
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