The Chicago Blackhawks have released the findings of an investigation into allegations that Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted two players in 2010 when he was employed as a video coach with the team. As a result of the investigation, general manager Stan Bowman has “stepped aside” from the organization, admitting he made a mistake in 2010. Senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIssac has also left the organization.
Bowman, 48, joined the Blackhawks in 2005 as director of hockey operations and was named general manager in 2009. He was given the title of president of hockey operations in 2020 after previously serving as senior vice president. He retained the title of general manager and conducted a drastic overhaul to the roster over the last few months, bringing in players like Marc-Andre Fleury, Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, Caleb Jones, Tyler Johnson and Adam Gaudette. That roster will now be inherited by Kyle Davidson, who will be serving as interim general manager as the club searches for a new front office leader.
Not only was Bowman in charge of the Blackhawks, but he also serves as general manager for the U.S. National Team that is set to take part in the 2022 Olympics. It is not clear yet whether he will be removed from that role as well.
At the time of the incident, in which Aldrich is alleged to have sexually assaulted two players during the 2010 playoffs, a meeting was reportedly held between skills coach Paul Vincent, then-team president John McDonagh, Bowman, MacIsaac, and sports psychologist James Gary, with Vincent reporting the incident and asking management to take it to the Chicago police. According to Vincent, who spoke with Rick Westhead of TSN, they refused. McDonagh, who had been with the team since 2007, was fired in 2020.
In the press conference Tuesday, former assistant U.S. attorney Reid Schar, who conducted the investigation, revealed that there was a meeting between MacIsaac, Bowman, McDonagh, then-assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, then executive vice president Jay Blunk, and then-head coach Joel Quenneville where the allegations were discussed, though accounts of the meeting “vary significantly.” The investigation also found that Blackhawks ownership was not aware of the allegations until this year. Cheveldayoff and Quenneville have previously denied knowing about the allegations.
McDonagh informed the team’s human resources director after the 2010 playoffs, and Aldrich was given the option to undergo an investigation or resign. He resigned that June. No executive involved in the 2010 incident will remain with the team.
In total, 139 witnesses were interviewed during the investigation, including the player who initially filed a lawsuit against the team earlier this year and some current Blackhawks players.