Multiple sources confirmed on Wednesday morning former Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday to discuss his involvement in the team's sexual abuse case.
Joel Quenneville said he will be meeting with Gary Bettman tomorrow — he thinks it’s up in New York. Said he spoke with the #FlaPanthers about his situation.— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) October 27, 2021
Hockey-centered social media has subsequently been set ablaze because Quenneville, who currently coaches the Panthers, will still be allowed to coach Florida's game on Wednesday despite being tied to the case and reportedly having knowledge of the assault allegations back in 2010.
They're letting Joel Quenneville coach and *then* meet with Bettman? Really? Gary can't get there any sooner? Gary can't say, sit this one out?— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 27, 2021
As ESPN's Emily Kaplan summarizes, Quenneville initially claimed he was "not aware of the sexual assault allegations against then-video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010," which took place during one of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup runs. An investigation into the allegations, conducted by law firm Jenner & Block, revealed Quenneville was in fact made aware of the allegations at the time.
Quenneville addressed the media on Wednesday with a scripted statement saying he looks forward to talking to Bettman and that his involvement with the Blackhawks current situation will not be a distraction to his current team.
His comments have not played well with the social media crowd.
joel quenneville should not be coaching ever again. https://t.co/ehzXWMQhQa— maha (@mahaaaay) October 27, 2021
The NHL this week fined the Blackhawks $2 million for their lack of action in investigating the allegations of sexual assault against Aldrich made by former players. ESPN points out that Aldridge was allowed to stay with the team during their playoff run despite being investigated and was given the option of cooperating with the investigation or resigning, instead of simply being fired.
Club GM Stan Bowman subsequently resigned this week amid the Jenner & Block's findings, although that move has also come under scrutiny because Bowman was allowed to leave at his own will instead of being let go.
Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was part of the Blackhawks front office in 2010, is also expected to meet with Bettman.