Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman Resigns After Brad Aldrich Investigation; CHI Fined $2M

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVOctober 26, 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

On Tuesday, the law firm Jenner & Block and the Chicago Blackhawks revealed the results of their investigation into 2010 sexual assault allegations made by a former player against then-video coach Brad Aldrich.

Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, team CEO Danny Wirtz and Reid Schar, a partner at Jenner & Block and a former U.S. prosecutor, attended the press conference.

As a result of the investigation, general manager and president of hockey operations Stan Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac each resigned:

Rick Westhead @rwesthead

Schar says Blackhawks officials held a May 23, 2010, meeting to discuss the allegations of sexual assault. Those present included John McDonough, Stan Bowman, Joel Quenneville, Jay Blunk and Kevin Cheveldayoff, Schar said.

Rick Westhead @rwesthead

Stan Bowman has resigned from the Blackhawks.

Chris Emma @CEmma670

Reid Schar said John McDonough and the Blackhawks' senior leaders were informed of allegations on May 23 but took no action until after the Stanley Cup: "The decision to take no action from May 23rd to June 14th had consequences."

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

Kyle Davidson takes over as interim Hawks GM.<br>A search will commence for a new GM

Sean Shapiro @seanshapiro

NHL press release says Gary Bettman will meet in the near future with Quenneville and Cheveldayoff and will "reserve judgement on next steps, if any, with respect to them."

Bowman, who has served as the team's general manager since July 2009, released the following statement Tuesday:

Chris Emma @CEmma670

Stan Bowman issued a statement on his resignation from the Blackhawks, which said in part: "I relied on the direction of my superior that he would take appropriate action. Looking back, now knowing he did not handle the matter promptly, I regret assuming he would do so." <a href="https://t.co/U5d4ylvd8X">pic.twitter.com/U5d4ylvd8X</a>

He is also stepping down from his duties with USA Hockey:

USA Hockey @usahockey

Stan Bowman has stepped down as GM of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

The NHL has fined the Blackhawks $2 million for "inadequate procedures and mishandling of 2010 matter related to conduct of former video coach Brad Aldrich," with $1 million going to fund Chicago organizations that provide support to those who have been abused:

Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli

$1 million of the fine money will be dedicated to "fund local organizations in and around Chicago community that provide counseling and training for, and support and assistance to, survivors of sexual and other forms of abuse."

"It is clear the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling these disturbing incidents," the Blackhawks wrote in a statement. "We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected and the failure to promptly respond. As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to the individuals who suffered from these experiences. We must—and will—do better." 

The Blackhawks were sued in May after a former player accused Aldrich of sexual assault in 2010, with the lawsuit adding that "Hawks management covered up the assault while quietly firing [Aldrich] that summer," per Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times

A second lawsuit accused the Blackhawks of providing "recommendation letters for Aldrich to his future employers, including Miami University and later Houghton (Michigan) High School, where he assaulted a 16-year-old member of the boy’s hockey team."

An investigation into Aldrich's time as a coach at Miami (Ohio) University found that he sexually assaulted a hockey camp intern and an undergraduate student in 2012 after he resigned from the Blackhawks.