NHL reinstates employees banned over Blackhawks scandal

The NHL announced on Monday former general manager Stan Bowman, executive Al MacIsaac and head coach Joel Quenneville have been reinstated by the league and can immediately seek employment, less than three years after the bombshell sexual assault report within the Chicago Blackhawks organization.

Bowman, MacIsaac and Quenneville all left their jobs in October 2021 after an investigation done by an outside law firm determined several Blackhawks team leaders failed to respond promptly to allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player in 2010. The player later revealed himself to be Kyle Beach, and the coach was revealed to be video coach Brad Aldrich.

The three men have been ineligible to work for any NHL team as a result of their ‘inadequate response,’ the league said, of the sexual assault allegations, but the NHL said the individuals have ‘acknowledged that and used his time away from the game to engage in activities which, not only demonstrate sincere remorse for what happened, but also evidence greater awareness of the responsibilities that all NHL personnel have.’

‘Each has made significant strides in personal improvement by participating in myriad programs, many of which focused on the imperative of responding in effective and meaningful ways to address alleged acts of abuse,’ the league said in a statement. ‘The league expects that they will continue this commitment in any future capacity with the NHL and/or one of our Clubs.’

The individuals are allowed to pursue job opportunities, but they cannot be employed until July 10.

The incident happened a month before the Blackhawks won their first of three championships in a six-season span.

The findings led to Bowman stepping aside as the Blackhawks general manager and president of hockey operations, as well as his position as Team USA men’s ice hockey GM. MacIsaac, senior vice president of hockey operations, also left the team. Quenneville was head coach of the Florida Panthers when the findings were released, and he resigned from his position after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Beach also accused the NHL and the U.S. Center for SafeSport of denying an investigation.

“(The NHL) let me down and they’ve let others down as well,’ he said in an interview with TSN. ‘But they continue to try and protect their name over the health and well-being of the people who put their lives on the line every day to make the NHL what it is.’

In November 2023, a second former player in the Blackhawks organization filed a lawsuit against the team, alleging that it mishandled claims of sexual abuse levied against Aldrich during the 2009-10 NHL season.

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