CEO Danny Wirtz informed team employees of the plan in an internal memo sent on Monday, adding that the organization was continuing a “self-assessment process” pending the results.
“We will share the results with you, our partners and our fans and quickly implement changes to address the findings and shortcomings of our organization,” Wirtz wrote in the memo. “I can assure you that we are using this process to engage in the self-reflection necessary to improve our organization and ensure that our workplace is safe and inclusive. “
President and CEO Stan Bowman said on a video call with reporters, “I think Danny has been very clear on where the organization is heading. “
“Danny has made it pretty clear that this independent review is going to be something that we will share the results of with our employees, partners, fans and so on,” Bowman said. “I intend to cooperate fully with the investigation as I said the last time we met. “
According to TSN, Bowman and other team leaders were in a meeting about the allegations against Brad Aldrich in 2010, but nothing was reported at the time to the NHL or the police. He and coach Joel Quenneville, who was apparently not at that meeting, each said they would cooperate.
The investigation came after the filing of two lawsuits against the team. The first alleges sexual assault by Aldrich during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup title race, and the second was filed by a former student Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan.
A former player said Aldrich assaulted him and the team did nothing after letting an employee know. The lawsuit, filed May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that Aldrich also assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and claims over $ 150,000 in damages is mentioned in the document as “John Doe”.
The eight-page lawsuit says Aldrich, then a video coach for the Blackhawks, “turned the porn on and began to masturbate in front of” the player without his consent. He says Aldrich also threatened to injure the player “physically, financially and emotionally” if he “did not engage in sexual activity” with him.
According to TSN, two Blackhawks players told then skills coach Paul Vincent in May 2010 of Aldrich’s inappropriate behavior. Vincent said he asked mental skills coach James Gary to follow up with players and management.
Vincent was called for a meeting with Bowman, then team president John McDonough, director of hockey Al MacIsaac and Gary the next day, TSN reported, and said he asked the team to report the allegations. to Chicago Police, and the request was denied.
In addition to leading Chicago’s hockey operations department, Bowman is USA Hockey’s general manager for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which may include NHL players. Asked Monday about the possibility of taking time off from that post unless or until he is cleared of any involvement in failing to report the sexual abuse 11 years ago, Bowman said this was not a question he could comment on.
“USA Hockey has been in close contact with the Blackhawks on a variety of subjects,” he said. “I’m not really involved in these conversations. “
When asked last week whether Bowman had recused himself from the 2022 U.S. Men’s Olympic roster selection job, USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher referred to the Blackhawks’ ongoing investigation. .
“We have had discussions with the National Hockey League and the Blackhawks to stay up to date on their side,” he said. “I really think what we’ve looked at is that (there is) an investigation going on and with this one going, we will allow this investigation to happen and unfold and we will monitor it.” and will stay in touch with the Blackhawks and the NHL as it progresses. ”