The Chicago Blackhawks front office is being accused of turning a blind eye.
In May, two former players filed sexual assault allegations against a former Blackhawks coach. Now, they say the front office knew about the allegations and did nothing about them.
The players informed then-skills coach Paul Vincent about multiple incidents involving video coach Brad Aldrich. Vincent then reached out to the franchise’s president at the time, John McDonough.
The players also contacted to vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, general manager Stan Bowman, and team sports psychologist James Gary about the accusations. They say all failed to step forward and alert law enforcement of the allegations.
One of the former players claimed that Aldrich sent “inappropriate text messages” and threatened him “physically, financially and emotionally” if he “did not engage in sexual activity.”
One specific incident involved Aldrich turning on porn and beginning to masturbate in front of the player without his consent. After the incident, Gary allegedly convinced the player the situation was his fault.
After his stint with the Blackhawks, Aldrich became a coach for a Michigan high school hockey team. There, he was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a 17-year-old player in 2013. He then spent nine months in prison and had five years of probation. He is currently a registered sex offender.
The former players are accusing the front office of being liable for allowing Aldrich to get a job at the high school. The Blackhawks were the reference that Aldrich put down in his application to the school.
The Blackhawks declined to comment about the new findings because the case is ongoing. But, they did release a statement regarding the original investigation.
“The Chicago Blackhawks take the allegations asserted by a former player very seriously. Based on our investigation, we believe the allegations against the organization lack merit and we are confident the team will be absolved of any wrongdoing,” vice president of communications Adam Rogowin said.