Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville told the Associated Press in a statement that he has reached out to the Chicago Blackhawks and said he would participate in the investigation of a former player’s allegation that he was sexually assaulted by a video coach during the 2010 NHL playoffs.
Quenneville was coach of the Blackhawks when the incident allegedly took place.
The Blackhawks have hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct what the team called an independent review of what has been charged in two lawsuits against the team.
Both of the lawsuits involve former Chicago assistant Bradley Aldrich.
One was filed by a former Chicago player who accused Aldrich of assaulting him (as well as another Blackhawks player) during the 2010 Western Conference finals; the second by a former student who was coached by Aldrich in Michigan.
Paul Vincent, who was a skills coach with the Blackhawks at the time and has worked for the Panthers as well, said two players informed him in 2010 of Aldrich’s inappropriate behavior.
Vincent has said he told then-team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman and team executive Al MacIsaac about the allegations and asked the team to report them allegations to Chicago police.
The Blackhawks did not call the police and Aldrich left the team following the Stanley Cup championship — only to go on to coach a high school team in Michigan where he was convicted in 2013 of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a high school student.
Per AP, Aldrich is now on that state’s registry of sex offenders., and the request was denied.
“I first learned of these allegations through the media earlier this summer,” Quenneville said in a statement provided to AP from the Panthers.
“I have contacted the Blackhawks organization to let them know I will support and participate in the independent review. Out of respect for all those involved, I won’t comment further while this matter is before the courts.”
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