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Chicago Blackhawks’ Stan Bowman says he’ll cooperate with investigation into sexual assault allegations

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Stan Bowman

Chicago Blackhawks executive Stan Bowman speaks to the media on the first day of training camp held at Fifth Third Arena on Sept. 13, 2019.


Stan Bowman, the Chicago Blackhawks president of hockey operations and general manager, said Thursday that he’ll “fully cooperate” with an independent investigation into players’ 2010 sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich, but wouldn’t comment on whether the findings would be made public.

Addressing reporters as part of a pre-NHL draft media session, Bowman said: “I do not condone or tolerate harassment or assault of any type. As you know, the Blackhawks have engaged an outside legal firm to conduct an independent review of these allegations, and we need to give the experts the necessary time and the latitude to do their job well.”

Last month, the Hawks hired Chicago-based law firm Jenner and Block to conduct the independent review.

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“The review itself is something that I do plan to participate in and I’m going to give it my full cooperation,” Bowman said. “As far as where it goes, that’s not something that I can comment on. But I do know that we have some experts that we brought in, from my understanding, these are well-respected people in the legal community and I intend to fully cooperate with them.”

Former skills coach Paul Vincent has said team executives met with Vincent in May 2010 to discuss allegations that Aldrich sexually assaulted two Hawks players while they stayed overnight at his apartment. Vincent said he recommended contacting Chicago police, but management said they would handle it.

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Bowman was asked Thursday if this May meeting occurred and what he remembered about it, but he declined to answer.

“That’s something that’s part of the investigation; it really wouldn’t be right for me to be commenting on that right now,” he said.

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Bowman also declined to discuss details about what transpired in 2010 relating to Aldrich, citing the two pending lawsuits.

One of those suits was brought by one of the former Hawks players who has said he was assaulted by Aldrich. The other was filed by a former Houghton (Mich.) High School hockey player whom Aldrich was convicted of sexually assaulting in March 2013. Aldrich pleaded guilty, served nine months in jail and received five years probation, and registered as a sex offender.

The suits accuse the Hawks of negligence in their handling of the initial complaints against Aldrich, which led to no formal reports with Chicago police. The team’s attorneys have filed motions to dismiss both cases.

Bowman said: “I’m eager to speak about this in more detail in the future, but for now I have to respect the pending litigation and the independent review that’s underway. I’m not going to be able to make comments at this time, we have to let the process play itself out.”

Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville, who led the Hawks to the Cup victory in 2010, also offered to participate in the independent review.

“I first learned of these allegations through the media earlier this summer,” Quenneville said in a team statement this month. “I have contacted the Blackhawks organization to let them know I will support and participate in the independent review. Out of respect for all those involved, I won’t comment further while this matter is before the courts.”

In late June, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he “was not aware” of any allegations when he was Hawks director of player personnel in 2010.

Bowman acknowledged coverage of the lawsuits and the underlying details from 2010 have loomed over the organization as they prepare for Friday’s NHL draft and next week’s start of free agency.

“There’s a lot going on, there’s no question about that,” he said. “But I have a job to do here and that’s to build our team as best I can, and that’s what I’m focused on.

“My staff is fully engaged and we’re going to do our best to focus on improving our team, and whether that’s through the draft, trades or free agency.”


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