Former Chicago Blackhawks player who alleges team video coach sexually assaulted him and teammate in 2010 says he spoke to his family about the abuse and is still struggling 11 years older late with its long term effects.
“Every day is a work in progress,” the player wrote in an email to TSN. “It comes when I wake up and much worse when I try to fall asleep, especially in light of all the activity now. I didn’t accept it. It is in progress. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to come to terms completely with this. “
TSN received a number of comments sent by the player through his lawyer on Monday morning. The remarks came in response to questions sent by TSN on Friday.
The player’s responses were sent before The Athletic website reported that the Blackhawks commissioned an independent investigation into allegations that former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted two players during the season. 2009-10, and that the leadership of the Blackhawks at the time reportedly refused to go to the police to press charges.
TSN has identified players allegedly abused by Aldrich, but has a policy of not naming victims of sexual abuse without their permission. In court documents, the player is referred to as “John Doe 1”.
A second lawsuit against the Blackhawks alleges the team provided Aldrich with a job reference after leaving the Blackhawks in 2010, which he used to secure future hockey jobs. In 2013, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a then 17-year-old high school hockey player in Houghton, Michigan.
The Blackhawks have asked a court to dismiss the cases because they were not filed within the appropriate statute of limitations.
The former Blackhawks player told TSN he has a message to send to all the other players who fell victim to Aldrich but are afraid to come forward.
“I would tell them it’s very hard to cope with the pain of coming out of what happened,” the player wrote. “But the minute you step outside the healing begins. It’s very uplifting to know how much support I get from the public and other players.
The player said he was not sure what he would say to Aldrich today if he was sitting across from him.
“This question is too difficult to answer,” the player wrote. “Obviously it’s a disease and I hope it heals for him and everyone else. “
Susan Loggans, lawyer for the former Blackhawks player, said she welcomed the news of an independent investigation, but said she found it curious that the team sought to dismiss her client’s lawsuit over one detail. technical.
“They don’t have to try to get our case dismissed because of a statute of limitations,” Loggans said. “If they wanted to do the right thing, they could admit that something wrong happened, that it was covered up for 10 years and say it’s time to do the right thing. “
“John Doe 1 ″ is asking for $ 150,000 in his lawsuit. Loggans, however, said that figure is a placeholder and lawyers can only suggest awarding damages to jurors. She said the case was probably worth at least $ 10 million.
Loggans asked a judge on Friday to order the Blackhawks to produce emails, meeting notes and other material related to his client’s alleged abuse.
Among his requests: “Personal records relating to Bradley Aldrich, including any letters of reference or recommendation” and, “All emails, telephone messages, memos or other inter-departmental communications relating to Bradley Aldrich between or among the defendant, Blackhawks, employers, management employers and / or executives.
Although NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has not publicly addressed the Blackhawks’ abuse allegations, he is expected to hold a press conference later this afternoon ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.