By: Gus Wilson
During the afternoon of October 26th, news broke in the National Hockey League (NHL). The general manager of the struggling Chicago Blackhawks, Stan Bowman, stepped down, and Senior vice president of hockey operations, Al MacIsaac, also left the team. However, these resignations are not a result of their poor season so far, in which they have zero wins, five losses, and one tie as of October 26th, 2021. Also, on October 28th, 2021, the Florida Panthers and former head coach of the Blackhawks Joel Quenneville resigned after meeting with the NHL.
In the 2009-2010 season, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, their first of three championships in the next 6 seasons. During this championship season, the Blackhawks were all in on winning their first title since 1961, nothing was gonna tell them otherwise. Unfortunately, Chicago took that mindset in the worst way possible. An unnamed Blackhawks player came out and filed a lawsuit against the team’s video coach Brad Aldrich, stating that himself and another Blackhawks teammate were sexually assaulted by Aldrich. Bowman and MacIsaac pushed this completely under the rug until after the season ended, where they told Aldrich he must plead guilty or resign from the position. He resigned from the job, and no further investigation was performed on Aldrich. Neither the general manager nor the senior vice president of hockey operations punished or accused the coach besides allowing him to resign. Only 3 years later, Aldrich pleaded guilty to having sexually assaulted a minor as a high school coach in Michigan.
The NHL announced that after conducting an independent investigation of the Blackhawks, they would fine the organization $2 million. The NHL explained that their reasoning behind the fine was due to “The organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response in the handling of matters related to former video coach Brad Aldrich’s employment with the Club and ultimate departure in 2010.” This is coming after both Bowman and MacIsaac said they had no idea of the sexual conduct involved in the allegations, but knew of the initial report.
The report the anonymous player gave on how he was treated by Aldrich was quite disturbing, I do not recommend reading the report if you are easily disturbed, however, you can find the full report online.