Blackhawks' Stan Bowman Responds to Sexual Assault Allegations Against Team

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2021

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 06: Vice president and general manager Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks speaks from the podium before their 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at Fifth Third Arena on October 06, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The 2020 NHL Draft was held virtually due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Taylor Wilder/NHLI via Getty Images)
Taylor Wilder/NHLI via Getty Images

For the first time, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman publicly addressed the ongoing investigation into how the team handled sexual assault allegations against a former video coach.

"I do not condone or tolerate harassment or assault of any type," Bowman told reporters Thursday. "The Blackhawks have engaged an outside legal firm to conduct an investigation. ... For now, I have to respect the litigation and pending review. I'm not going to be able to make any comments about that."

The Blackhawks commissioned an independent review of the allegations, and Bowman said he's "going to give it my full cooperation."

He didn't confirm whether the results of the review will be released to the public.

In May, a former player filed a civil lawsuit, alleging he and a teammate were sexually assaulted by Brad Aldrich, who served as video coordinator for Chicago from 2008-10.

Another civil complaint was filed in May by a former high school hockey player in Michigan. The plaintiff said the Blackhawks displayed "utter indifference or conscious disregard for the safety of others" when it didn't make prospective employers aware of the allegations leveled against him when he worked with the team.

TSN's Rick Westhead reported on June 17 that Bowman took part in a May 2010 meeting that included then-president John McDonough and vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac. At that meeting, then-skills coach Paul Vincent said two players had come forward about their experiences with Aldrich.

"The players allegedly told Vincent that on separate occasions Aldrich had gotten them drunk in his apartment, watched pornography, and then tried to perform oral sex on them," Westhead reported.

The Blackhawks reportedly didn't forward the allegations to Chicago police despite Vincent suggesting they do so.

In addressing the first lawsuit, Blackhawks vice president of communications Adam Rogowin said the team took the matter "very seriously" and that the allegations against the organization "lack merit."

Bowman's failure to confirm whether the full review will be made public will likely leave some concerned.

"If you’re not committed to making the reports public, all you’re doing is managing a PR nightmare/crisis without actually doing anything meaningful," NHL agent Allan Walsh said to The Athletic in June.

Susan Loggans, who's representing the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits, said in June, "The statement that they will not agree to release the result of the investigation at this time makes me conclude that it is not independent."