[UPDATE: Following a Thursday meeting with Bettman, Joel Quenneville resigned as head coach of the Panthers. Andrew Brunette will take over on an interim basis.]
We already know that Stan Bowman resigned as Blackhawks GM after an independent investigation indicated that the franchise mishandled sexual assault allegations regarding former video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010. There are still questions about additional fallout. Specifically, what might happen to former members of the Blackhawks organization who are in prominent positions around the NHL? Will there be consequences for Joel Quenneville, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Marc Bergevin, and possibly others?
As of Tuesday, those situations remain unclear.
That said, there are a few things we do know. Beyond Bowman’s resignation, we also know that the NHL fined the Blackhawks $2M following the investigation by Jenner & Block LLP.
Jenner & Block report can be read in full here: https://jenner.com/Chicago_Blackhawks_Investigation_Report.
[The report contains graphic descriptions that some may find upsetting or offensive.]
Bettman also indicated that he’ll meet with Quenneville and Cheveldayoff regarding their involvement in the way the Blackhawks handled the Aldrich allegations.
Jets’ Cheveldayoff releases statement regarding Blackhawks report
On Tuesday, Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff released the following statement regarding the findings, and meeting with Bettman.
The following is a statement from Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff regarding the results of the investigation released today: pic.twitter.com/sAp9pWWD2t
— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) October 26, 2021
Cheveldayoff served as Blackhawks assistant GM from 2009 to 2011 before becoming the Jets’ GM. He will meet with Bettman on Monday.
On one hand, the Jenner & Block report states that accounts of a May 23 meeting “vary significantly.” That said, the report indicates consistently that Cheveldayoff and Quenneville were at a meeting regarding the allegations also attended by Bowman, mental skills coach Jim Gary, and former executives John McDonough, Al MacIsaac, and Jay Blunk. (MacIsaac also resigned on Tuesday.)
Joel Quenneville says little
Following the Panthers’ morning skate on Wednesday, head coach Joel Quenneville said very little in response to his role in the investigation. He said he will meet with Bettman in New York City this week
“I look forward to continuing to contribute to the process,” Quenneville said as he read from a prepared statement. “I won’t comment any further until the appropriate time until after I meet with the Commissioner.”
Quenneville added that there were “several” meetings held on Wednesday morning about “different subjects” before the team skated and the Blackhawks report was addressed.
When asked by Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards if he felt like this could be a distraction, Quenneville said, “I think we try to eliminate all distractions, and that was one of them.”
No mention of Bergevin
Current Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin’s name does not come up in the Jenner & Block report.
Back in late June, Bergevin said he was “not aware” of the sexual assault allegations regarding Aldrich during his time with the Blackhawks.
At the time, Marc Bergevin was the Blackhawks’ director of pro personnel. Bergevin became Blackhawks assistant GM in 2011-12 before becoming Canadiens GM.
Again, Bergevin wasn’t mentioned as possibly meeting with Bettman, but the plan appears to be to do so with Quenneville and Cheveldayoff. In addition to any league measures, it’s unclear if the Panthers or Jets might take any actions with Quenneville and Cheveldayoff respectively.
(Bergevin’s own future is currently unclear, as he’s in the final year of his Canadiens contract.)
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.