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Late departure from Chicago NHL coach raises concerns

Hockey

The GIST: Following an investigation into the team’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2010, Chicago general manager (GM) Stan Bowman has resigned.

October 27, 2021
Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The background: Earlier this year, a former Chicago player filed a lawsuit claiming that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup title run.

  • According to reports, a coach at the time was made aware of the allegations against Aldrich and brought it to the attention of team leadership, including Bowman. You’d think that would lead to an investigation, a response...anything.
  • Instead, Aldrich was awarded a Stanley Cup ring and moved on to new jobs, including coaching at a high school in Michigan, where he was later convicted of criminal sexual conduct involving a 17-year-old. Just awful.

The latest: Chicago hired an outside firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations, and their findings were released yesterday. In response, Chicago released a lackluster statement, Bowman resigned (before he could be fired) and the NHL fined the team $2 million, half of which will go to local organizations that support survivors.

The bigger picture: Bowman’s departure comes 11 years too late, and this story is yet another example of the culture of silence and misogyny that persists in sports.

  • While Bowman’s departure is the expected reaction to this latest news, the NHL and (the sports world in general) must proactively work to eradicate this toxicity. There’s no excuse.