The Chicago Blackhawks made headlines this week for all the wrong reasons when an independent investigation found that the team’s executives waited three weeks to crack down on a former video coach who sexually abused a player in 2010. General Manager Stan Bowman and Senior Director of Hockey Administration Al MacIsaac both resigned from the team after the 107 side report went public on Tuesday and Joel Quenneville, Florida Panthers coach who coached the Blackhawks for 11 years, including 2010, resigned after meeting NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday. The NHL fined the Blackhawks $ 2 million for handling the allegations. Here’s a chronological look at the case and what happened to those involved.
8th-9th May 2010 – The attack on the beach
Former Blackhawks center Kyle Beach and video coach Brad Aldrich had a sexual encounter during the team’s Western Conference finals series against the San Jose Sharks. Aldrich told investigators the encounter was amicable, but Beach said it was “totally non-amicable”. According to the report, Aldrich told Beach he would never play or run in the NHL again if he didn’t pretend he was enjoying the sexual encounter. Aldrich then forced himself onto Beach.
12-19 May 2010 – Beach trusts his Skill Coach
Later in the Sharks series, Beach told Blackhawk’s skill coach Paul Vincent about the Aldrich incident. Vincent – according to Beach, not investigators – reported Beach’s allegations to the Blackhawks’ front office, but Aldrich kept his job during the team’s Stanley Cup run. Beach described Vincent as an “amazing man” who “tried to do everything he could at the time”. However, the Blackhawks’ inaction following the discovery of the allegations made Beach “feel like I didn’t exist”.
May 23, 2010 – Blackhawks leadership meeting
MacIsaac learns from an employee about the alleged sexual encounter between Aldirch and Beach. After the Blackhawks’ run-of-the-mill win over the Sharks, MacIsaac joined President John McDonough, Bowman, Executive Vice President Jay Blunk, Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, Quenneville, and team advisor Jim Gary to discuss the incident. Bowman recalled McDonough and Quenneville brushing the problem aside, the former hoping to avoid bad publicity during the team’s Stanley Cup run and the latter wanting to make sure his team had no distractions.
June 10, 2010 – Aldrich attacks Blackhawk’s interns
One day after the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory, Aldrich is said to have made sexual advances to a 22-year-old team intern. Aldrich “physically grabbed” the intern during the encounter, the report says.
14.-16. June 2010 – staff is committed
McDonough briefed Blackhawks Human Resources on the allegations against Aldrich and the May 23rd meeting of senior executives on June 14th. Two days later, Aldrich met with the HR director. Aldrich has neither confirmed nor denied his role in the Beach incident, forcing the director to give him an ultimatum: an investigation or resignation. After deciding to retire, the Blackhawks gave Aldrich a severance payment, a playoff bonus, and a championship ring. Aldrich also had his name engraved on the trophy, spent a day with the Stanley Cup, and attended the team’s banner ceremony the following season.
Fall 2012 – Aldrich attacks two in Miami, Ohio
Aldrich sexually abused two men while he was serving as the hockey director of the University of Miami, Ohio. Miami found out that Aldrich attacked a Miami student who worked on the ice rink and a summer hockey camp intern after inviting them both to sleep on his couch. Aldrich resigned from Miami later that year.
March 2013 – Aldrich attacks high school students
While working as a volunteer hockey coach for a high school team in Houghton, Michigan, Aldrich allegedly sexually assaulted one of his teenagers after a post-game party. Aldrich shortly thereafter admitted his sexual advances towards the teenager to the police.
September 2013 – Blackhawks HR stone walls Houghton Police
The Houghton Police Department contacted the Blackhawks Human Resources Director for information on Aldrich. The director refused to offer any information about Alrdrich without subpoena – other than his resignation. Aldrich was eventually convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual behavior on a college student.
February 13, 2014 – Aldrich sentenced to prison
Aldrich was sentenced to nine months in Houghton County Jail for sexually assaulting the high school gamer. After his release, Aldrich had to register as a sex offender, serve five years on probation and make amends.
May 7, 2021 – Beach files lawsuit against Blackhawks
Beach, then nameless and dubbed “John Doe 1”, filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks for failing to punish Aldrich following his alleged attack in 2010.
June 2021 – Blackhawks begin independent investigation
Chicago has hired former federal prosecutor Redi Schar to conduct an “independent investigation” into Beach’s allegations. The investigation, released on Tuesday, found that the Blackhawks violated their own sexual harassment policy by waiting three weeks before taking action (Aldrich’s forced resignation).
“Failure to promptly and thoroughly investigate the matter and the decision not to take action from May 23 to June 14 had ramifications,” the report said. “During this time, Aldrich continued to work with the team and to travel with them. Aldrich engaged in unwanted sexual advancement over a Blackhawks intern – by sexually engaging the intern. And Aldrich continued to participate in team activities and celebrations in the presence of John Doe. Even after the allegations were finally reported to the Director of Human Resources, there was still no investigation and Aldrich was allowed to resign and continue to attend the Stanley Cup winning events. “
October 26, 2021 – Bowman and MacIsaac step down
The Blackhawks announced that Bowman and MacIsaac, the only members of the May 2010 senior meeting who remained on the team, have stepped down from their respective roles. Kyle Davidson, vice president of Hockey Strategy and Analytics, has been made interim general manager of Chicago.
“The report is both disturbing and difficult to read,” said Danny Wirtz, CEO of Blackhawks, adding that the team’s executives failed to take appropriate action in 2010. “He speaks for himself.” (Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz) and our executive team are reviewing the report and we have had important and difficult conversations about how our organization will develop. “
Later that day, the NHL announced that it had fined the Blackhawks $ 2 million for their “inadequate internal procedures and their inadequate and untimely response in handling matters related to the club’s hiring of former video coach Brad Aldrich and the final exit in 2010 “. The NHL and Blackhawks agreed to send $ 1 million of the fine to organizations in Chicago dedicated to assisting or assisting survivors of sexual and other forms of abuse.
USA Hockey also announced that Bowman has resigned as general manager of the team for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
October 27, 2021
Beach appears as “John Doe” in the case of Blackhawk sexual assault. The 31-year-old, who is currently playing in Germany, told TSN: “It was a day full of emotions. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried even more feeling, we didn’t really know how to think. “
October 28, 2021 – Quenneville resigns
Quenneville stepped down after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York to discuss his involvement in the Blackhawks’ sexual assault case. Andrew Brunette will serve as the team’s interim head coach. Bettman said in a opinion following Quenneville’s resignation that the coach would receive no further penalty from the league – unless he tried to get back into the league.
“If he wants to get back into the league in any position in the future, I will need to speak to him beforehand in order to determine the suitable conditions for such a new appointment.”
Beach also used social media to thank fans for their “endless love and support” but admitted that “my fight is really just beginning as the Blackhawks continue to try to destroy my case in court.” He hopes his lawsuit will “promote the safety, health and welfare of society as a whole”.
November 1, 2021 – Cheveldayoff meets with Bettman
Cheveldayoff, the general manager of Winnipeg Jets, will meet Bettman on Monday. The NHL has yet to announce a penalty for Cheveldayoff.