Quenneville to meet with Bettman on Thursday over cover-up of Blackhawks sexual assault
Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville is due to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Thursday to discuss his role in the Blackhawks covering up allegations of sexual assault that have come to light executives from Quenneville and Chicago in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Quenneville will be cleared to coach the Panthers on Wednesday night, even after his role in the incident was revealed when the independent Chicago investigation was made public on Tuesday.
Bettman said in a statement he would « reserve judgment on next steps, if any » for Quenneville and Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was then assistant general manager of the Blackhawks, until that he meets them personally. Cheveldayoff’s meeting with Bettman has not yet been scheduled.
« I look forward to continuing to contribute to the process, » Quenneville told reporters Wednesday morning. « I know, I respect all of you for your work and your questions here, but I will not make any further comments until the appropriate time after my meeting with the Commissioner. »
Quenneville said he raised the subject with his Panthers team on Wednesday.
“I think we’re trying to eliminate all the distractions and that’s one of them,” Quenneville said.
Quenneville was head coach in Chicago for 11 seasons, helping the Hawks win three Stanley Cups, including the 2010 one which will forever be marred by continuing to include the serial sexual predator and video coach of the day. , Brad Aldrich, in the coaching staff after the organization learned of an alleged sexual assault on a player.
The Blackhawks’ investigation, which was conducted by law firm Jenner & Block, found that the president and CEO of Quenneville and Chicago had commented on « the challenge of making it to the final of the Stanley Cup and the desire to focus on the team and the playoffs ”in a meeting with front office executives.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, who resigned from his post on Tuesday, said in the inquiry that Quenneville « shook his head and remarked that it was difficult for the team to get to where it was and that she couldn’t fix the problem now ”.
According to the report, Quenneville also wrote Aldrich a glowing review of employee performance even after the Blackhawks accepted Aldrich’s resignation for the sexual assault: “Aldrich did a great job for the coaching staff in us. preparing for all of our meetings and coordinating several tasks as we move forward on his way. Brad has several people who rely on him at the same time and he has a way of deflecting and accommodating everyone at the same time… Congratulations on winning the Stanley Cup!