Chicago Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz addressed the team Wednesday morning after the findings of an investigation into sexual abuse within the organization that led to the resignation of general manager Stan Bowmanwere released on Tuesday.
The team-commissioned investigation, conducted by the law firm Jenner & Block, discovered team leaders, including Bowman, former coach Joel Quenneville (now coach of the Florida Panthers), and ex-assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (now general manager of the Florida Panthers). Winnipeg Jets), did nothing when a player claimed that then-video coach Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted him.
Quenneville has a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday and a meeting between Bettman and Cheveldayoff is being arranged. according to ESPN, to discuss each of their roles in the case.
Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat supported Bowman’s move.
“It’s a big change, I think probably the change that had to happen,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I understand why he and the Blackhawks had to break up. I get it. My time with Stan has been nothing but wonderful for me. But, like I said, I understand the reasoning. With everything that’s happened, it’s probably a good thing we broke up.”
Said defender 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 is a very serious matter, that is very sad and tragic that has happened.”
The NHL fined the team $2 million for the organization’s inadequate internal procedures and inadequate and untimely response.
DeBrincat said the organization has discussed the situation with the players. He added that he has been treated with nothing but respect from the team during his time there.
“The main message was that ‘the organization is there for you,'” said coach Jeremy Colliton.
Bowman became Blackhawks general manager in 2009, and the team won three Stanley Cups during his tenure. Him too resigned as general manager of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team, almost 100 days away from the Beijing Games.
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