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Stan Bowman Steps Aside as Blackhawks GM, Other Changes Coming

The Chicago Blackhawks will release the results of the Jenner & Block investigation to media on Tuesday.

According to reported Mark Lazerus: “Multiple sources say “organizational changes” are coming to the Blackhawks as part of the Jenner & Block findings.” Lazerus often covers the Blackhawks for The Athletic and posted a series of tweets on Tuesday reporting that the franchise will be holding a meeting with media and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and CEO Danny Wirtz will both speak at the press briefing, as will Reid Schar, who headed the investigation. All, of course, in relation to the Jenner & Block findings.

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It’s not clear what those organizational changes will be, but if the team is holding a presser for media, the expectation seems to be that some people will be out of a job by the time the day passes by. Update: Frank Seravalli notes that “Sr. VP of Hockey Ops Al MacIsaac will be departing the organization as part of the investigation findings.”

Earlier in the day, Adam Rosen tweeted, “I don’t expect anything to happen, because organizations don’t seem to take much responsibility for things like this, but God I hope they do, and I hope they do everything in their power to make changes that will bring good, accountable people to this organization.” When it was learned that the team was calling a presser to talk about the findings, he added a follow-up tweet saying, “Well, this is huge.”

Stan Bowman Chicago Blackhawks NHL
Stan Bowman Chicago Blackhawks NHL

The Blackhawks hired an independent outside firm to investigate allegations of abuse against former players. It was a story that caught a ton of attention over the summer and one that many fans were surprised the NHL didn’t take swifter action on. But, as some have pointed out, the Blackhawks doing their own external investigation was necessary to ensure they were/are prepared for the legal case that was coming.

There is some speculation the team will inform the media that they found nothing wrong. If that’s the case, expect there to be a ton of blowback as many will suggest ‘of course the Blackhawks didn’t find anything wrong while doing their own investigation.”

Summary Notes of the Press Conference

As the Blackhawks began to speak, it was revealed that the player who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Aldrich was a 20-year-old black ace during the 2010 NHL playoffs. They mentioned that the investigation saw 139 witnesses interviewed, many of them more than once.

Former assistant US attorney Reid Schar says on May 8 or 9, 2010 John Doe had a sexual encounter with Aldrich. Doe said the encounter was non-consensual. Aldrich said it was consensual. Ben Pope tweeted, “Investigation found Bowman, MacIsaac, McDonough, Jay Blunk, Kevin Cheveldayoff and Joel Quenneville and James Gary met in May 2010 to discuss Aldrich’s alleged assault and took no action for 3 weeks. One witness said the decision was left in McDonough’s hands, Schar says.”

Schar said John McDonough and the other senior leaders did nothing until June 14, after the playoffs, when McDonough informed the director of HR. After deciding not to do anything to address the allegations, Aldrich later made sexual advances on a 22-year-old intern with the NHL team.

Joel Quenneville and Kevin Cheveldayoff named in Chicago Blackhawks investigation

One of the big news items coming from the press conference is that Stan Bowman has “stepped aside,” per Danny Wirtz. Kyle Davidson is now the Interim GM. Wirtz added that no executive involved with 2010 will be with the organization any longer. He said, “We must, and will, do better.”

This investigation now expands beyond the Chicago Blackhawks and has revealed that Kevin Cheveldayoff (GM of the Winnipeg Jets) and Joel Quenneville (coach of the Florida Panthers) knew of the allegations. Questions about how Quenneville and Cheveldayoff will respond are going to be hot-button topics this week. Quenneville and Cheveldayoff had both denied knowing about the allegations when they were first asked in July.

The NHL has fined the Blackhawks $2 million for Inadequate Procedures and Mishandling of information related to the conduct of Brad Aldrich.

Next: Three Takeaways from the Hurricanes 4-1 Win Over the Maple Leafs



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