Chicago Blackhawks president Stan Bowman has resigned after an investigation into allegations that a former player was sexually assaulted by an assistant coach in 2010.
A pair of lawsuits have been filed against the team alleging sexual misconduct. Former federal prosecutor Reid Schar was hired by the team to conduct an independent investigation.
“The report is both disturbing and difficult to read. It speaks for itself,” Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said at a press conference Tuesday announcing the findings.
The first lawsuit against the team alleges sexual assault by former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich during the team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup title, and the second was filed by a former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan.
In the former Blackhawks player’s lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, he says Aldrich assaulted him, and that the team did nothing after he informed an employee. The suit also alleges Aldrich assaulted another Blackhawks player, also unidentified. The former player who sued is seeking more than $150,000 in damages.
The lawsuit says “in or around May 2010” — right before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup — Aldrich, then a video coach for the team, “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of” the player without his consent. When the player attempted to leave Aldrich’s apartment, according to the suit, Aldrich grabbed a souvenir Chicago Cubs bat and threatened to hurt the player if he “did not engage in nonconsensual sexual activity” with him.
According to TSN, two Blackhawks players told then-skills coach Paul Vincent in May 2010 of inappropriate behavior by Aldrich. Vincent said he asked mental skills coach James Gary to follow up with the players and management.
Vincent was called into a meeting with then-team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman, hockey executive Al MacIsaac and Gary the next day. He said he asked the team to report the allegations to Chicago police, and the request was denied.
Vincent has told The Associated Press in an email that he stands by everything he told TSN.
McDonough does not work for the team now and MacIsaac is also leaving the team, it was announced Tuesday.
An attorney for Aldrich told Chicago public radio station WBEZ that his client denies the allegations in the lawsuit. In a May statement to the radio station, the Blackhawks said the allegations directed at the team were groundless.
After leaving the Blackhawks, Aldrich was convicted in 2013 in Michigan of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a high school student and is now on that state’s registry of sex offenders.
The former student filed a separate lawsuit against the Blackhawks on May 26, saying the team provided positive references to future employers of Aldrich despite allegations from at least one player and took no action to report the matter.
That suit says the student was a hockey player at Houghton High School near Hancock in 2013 when Aldrich sexually assaulted him at an end-of-season gathering.
Bowman, son of hockey Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman, is credited with being the architect of Chicago’s three Stanley Cup titles in 2010, ’13 and ’15. He has had various jobs with the team since 2001 and was elevated to general manager in 2009. He was promoted to president of hockey operations in 2020.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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