Another NHL organization appears to be in hot water over a sexual abuse incident that allegedly happened in 2018. This time it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins and the lawsuit will name as defendants the Penguins, Clark Donatelli, Bill Guerin, and Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle.
Rick Westhead — the same reporter who broke open details in the Kyle Beach investigation with the Chicago Blackhawks — is covering this story as well and writes in a recent article for TSN that Erin Skalde, the wife of a former Pittsburgh Penguins minor-league assistant coach Jarrod Skalde is about to file a lawsuit against the coach and the Penguins ownership group, said a law firm representing Skalde.
Apparently, a sexual abuse incident took place on a team road trip to Providence, Rhode Island on November 11, 2018. The three of them were in the car (Clark Donatelli, Erin, and Jarrod Sklade) when the incident occurred. The team was notified but Jarrod was told to keep the incident quiet by organization management. Erin (the alleged victim) was called a liar and never interviewed as part of the team’s investigation. Jarrod was fired from the organization, the statement said.
Guerin is specifically being mentioned as the executive who told Jarrod to remain quiet about the incident and he is currently being investigated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport after Skalde filed a complaint on Oct. 5. At the time, Geurin was the Assitant General Manager of the team.
If Geurin is found to have violated the center’s code of conduct, he could be suspended from participating in the U.S. Olympic program. As for what it might mean in terms of his employment with the Minnesota Wild, that remains to be seen. Guerin was named GM of Team USA after Stan Bowman retired due to his involvement in the Blackhawks’ inappropriate response to the Beach incident. Team USA claimed he was cleared.
Penguins Release Their Own Statement
With news out there now, the Penguins have released a statement saying that they took the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton incident seriously at the time and acted immediately, conducting a full investigation in June 2019. The former coach resigned from the organization and Mr, Skalde continued to coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for an additional year before the team cut back staff due to COVID-19.
Reporter Katie Strang writes: “Attorney for Jarrod Skalde has also reached out to the Penguins, submitting in writing a request that 1) the team open an independent investigation into the matter and 2) the pending litigation from Jarrod’s claims be resolved in open court rather than arbitration.”
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