Oct 29, 2021 - Sports
Fallout from Blackhawks scandal continues
Joel Quenneville grimaces behind a podium.
Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville listens to questions during their end-of-season media availability at the United Center on April 22, 2017. Photo: Jim Young/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Late last night, Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers, where he had led the team to a 7-0 start. Coach Q owns the best playoff record (76-52) in Blackhawks history, including winning three Stanley Cups. He was let go by the Hawks in 2018. In Chicago, we are used to seeing cover-up scandals in politics and business, but sports scandals are usually about on-the-field failures or off-the-field legal run-ins.

  • This Blackhawks scandal is different.

Why it matters: The Blackhawks' front office chose to focus on winning hockey games rather than report an alleged sexual assault from one of its own players.

  • Former prospect Kyle Beach was allegedly assaulted by video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010 and filed the suit against the Hawks in May 2021.
  • Shortly after, the Blackhawks put out a statement saying, "Based on our investigation, we believe the allegations against the organization lack merit and we are confident the team will be absolved of any wrongdoing."

Why it really matters: Aldrich resigned in the summer of 2010. He got $20,622 in severance and a $15,000 playoff bonus, then was quickly hired by a college. Two other alleged assaults happened. Aldrich then served prison time in 2014 for assaulting a 16-year-old boy in Michigan.

  • If the Hawks had protected its players, would Aldrich's other alleged assaults have happened?

Driving the news: Law firm Jenner & Block independently interviewed 139 people for a report released this week, concluding that the Blackhawks tried to cover up the allegations and did not investigate the incident, contradicting the team's statement in May.

  • Former head coach Joel Quenneville, who was implicated in the report, said he didn't know about the allegations until the lawsuit. But the Jenner & Block report contradicts this.
  • Late last night, Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers, where he had led the team to a 7-0 start. Coach Q owns the best playoff record (76-52) in Blackhawks history, including winning three Stanley Cups. He was let go by the Hawks in 2018.
  • Hawks GM Stan Bowman was the only one left from Chicago's 2010 management team. He resigned Tuesday.

State of play: The Blackhawks played at the United Center on Wednesday night to plenty of empty seats.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: So much was made of the successful turnaround of the Blackhawks organization during their three Stanley Cup runs. The 2010's team motto was One Goal.

  • But at what cost? They may be finding that out now.
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