Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz has written a letter to the Hockey Hall of Fame requesting that the name of former video coach Brad Aldrich be removed from the Stanley Cup.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan obtained the letter, which was addressed to Hall of Fame chairman Lanny MacDonald. In it, Wirtz brings up the results of the Blackhawks report that was released this week detailing how Aldrich sexually assaulted Kyle Beach, a member of that 2009-10 championship team.
“Aldrich’s involvement with the team during the 2010 season has cast a pall on the players’ extraordinary work that year,” Wirtz writes. “The names of some of hockey’s most talented athletes appear on the Stanley Cup. But so does the name ‘Brad Aldrich’ whose role as video coach made him eligible for the engraving. His conduct disqualified him, however, and it was a mistake to submit his name. We are sorry we allowed it to happen.”
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, removing names from the Stanley Cup or “x-ing” them out is a decision that is made by the NHL, not the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Names cannot be removed from the Stanley Cup but can be covered by X’s. Wirtz noted in the letter that “x-ing” out a name has been done before with engraving errors, as well as in the case of former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington putting his father’s name with the 1983-84 team.
The fallout out so far from the report has seen senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac fired, Stan Bowman resign as general manager of the Blackhawks and the 2022 U.S. men’s hockey team, and Joel Quenneville, who was head coach of 2009-10 Cup team, resign as Panthers head coach.
UPDATE: Kelly Masse is the Hall of Fame’s director of media relations:
“HHOF Chair, Lanny McDonald spoke w/NHL Bettman & Daly today re: the request from the Blackhawks to have Aldrich’s name removed from the Cup. The parties agree this request is appropriate & will have further dialogue, incl w/ Cup trustees, on how best to effectuate this request.”
— Kelly Masse (@KellyHockeyHall) October 29, 2021