Former Chicago Blackhawks coach Paul Vincent told investigators investigating abuse allegations that after two players told him they were sexually assaulted by former video coach Brad Aldrich, he shared their testimonies. with the sports psychologist and the director of team safety.
In an August 7 interview via Zoom with three attorneys from Jenner & Block – the Chicago law firm hired by the Blackhawks in June to examine allegations that team management covered up allegations of abuse sex of two players – Vincent said he first learned of the allegations. Chicago defenseman Nick Boynton in May 2010 while in San Jose for the Stanley Cup Western Conference Final.
Vincent recorded the hour-long interview with Jenner & Block and provided a copy to TSN.
In the interview, Vincent said that after speaking with Boynton, he then spoke with the two alleged victims for about 10 minutes.
“They explain to me what happened,” Vincent told lawyers for Jenner & Block. “I didn’t need all the details. I knew it was wrong. They told me that [Aldrich] had tried to touch their penis, wanted to touch their penis. That’s all I needed to know. I said, ‘This is not my place. I am no longer a police officer. I will go to the right people. ‘ “
Vincent said he shared the allegations with Blackhawks sports psychologist James Gary and Brian Higgins, then the team’s director of safety.
A day later, Vincent said he was called to a meeting with team officials, including president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman, vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac and Gary. Vincent told lawyers for Jenner & Block that another person was present at the meeting but he couldn’t remember who it was.
“I walk in and Al MacIsaac says, ‘What do you know?’ Said Vincent. “I said, ‘The same thing I said [Gary and Higgins]. ‘ And with that, Al MacIsaac made most of the speeches. He said, ‘We are dealing with it. You’re assuming something has happened and we’re going to look at it. You no longer need to educate yourself. Vincent said he had advised officials to report the alleged abuse to police. “I told them I thought you should call the Chicago PD (Police Department) and have them investigate quietly,” Vincent told Jenner & Block investigators. “That’s when MacIsaac said, ‘You don’t have to worry about that. We’ll take care of it … You can go now. So I walk outside. Two of the coaches are still waiting for me, John Torchetti and Mike Haviland. I said, ‘You won’t believe what just happened.’ I explained it. And we went to dinner.
Vincent previously told TSN that the players shared their stories with him on May 16, 2010, before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against San Jose and was called to a meeting with the Blackhawks management on May 17.
Investigators asked him in the Aug. 7 interview if the words “handjob” or “pipe” were used by players who approached the former Blackhawks coach. Vincent answered no.
When asked if the players said they ejaculated on it, Vincent said no. When asked if a woman or drugs such as “roofers” could have been involved in the alleged incidents, Vincent replied that he did not know.
The interview offers a glimpse into how Jenner & Block attorney Reid Schar – a former deputy United States attorney who helped prosecute former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich – explores the allegations that have arose in recent months after the Blackhawks were chased by a former Blackhawks player and former high school hockey player.
The former Blackhawks player, named in court documents John Doe 1, alleges Gary told him any incident with Aldrich was his fault and the Blackhawks covered up his alleged assault.
The high school hockey player, named John Doe 2 in court records, was sexually assaulted by Aldrich in Houghton, Michigan, in 2013. (Aldrich was sentenced to nine months in jail and 60 months probation for the offense.) The player alleges the Blackhawks fired Aldrich in the summer of 2010 and provided him with a positive employment reference when he left the team.
The Blackhawks have asked an Illinois court to dismiss the two lawsuits. The team claim they did not have a legal responsibility to report the former player’s allegations of abuse as he was not a minor, disabled, or over the age of 60 and living in a facility in care. The Blackhawks have also said they are not responsible for the mistreatment of the teenage player as Aldrich did not receive a job reference specifically for the coaching position with the Michigan high school team.
Schar declined to comment on the scope of his investigation and referred all questions to the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have promised Schar’s findings will be made public but declined to provide details on the scope of his mission, including whether current employees on the team will be required to cooperate with Schar or whether he will have access to th – Team employee emails, text messages, and other potentially relevant documents.
During the hour-long interview, Vincent described both his relationship with Blackhawks players and Aldrich’s with Blackhawks coaching staff.
Vincent said he was hired by the Blackhawks in early 2008 by then general manager Dale Tallon, who was fired in July 2009 and replaced by Bowman. After Chicago hired coach Joel Quenneville, Vincent said he was given the task of working with players for the Blackhawks and their minor league affiliate in Rockford, Ill..
“With the big club, I was friendly with just about everyone, Marian Hossa, all, ”Vincent told Schar. “From [Dustin] Byfuglien to all. I was, as a few guys described it, I was their grandfather who was a coach.
Vincent told Schar he believed Aldrich got his job with the Blackhawks through connections with his father Mike, a longtime San Jose Sharks equipment manager. It is not known if Mike Aldrich is talking about his son with Schar.
A Sharks spokesperson did not respond to an email requesting comment. Vincent told Schar that he and other coaches saw Aldrich every day during the 2009-10 season. Aldrich had a booth in the coaches room where he showed the video of the game.
However, on road trips where coaches usually dined together, Aldrich was never invited, Vincent said. “He wasn’t in the inner circle,” Vincent told Schar.
Vincent also said in the August 7 interview that some coaches had other concerns about Aldrich’s behavior during the 2009-10 season. Vincent said Aldrich brought trainees into the players’ locker room after games to drink alcohol.
” A part of [the interns] looked younger, looked like minors and drank with them, ”Vincent told investigators.
Vincent said a Blackhawks coach Vincent did not identify spoke to Aldrich and told him what he was doing was not appropriate.
Aldrich regularly had a 14-year-old boy spend the weekends in his apartment, Vincent said, adding that he understood the boy’s family was close to Aldrich. “A family friend, that’s what I was told,” Vincent told Schar, adding that the boy had become “a pretty successful hockey player … evolved into an NHL player. “.
Vincent refused to tell Schar the name of this player.
Vincent was asked about the circumstances surrounding Aldrich’s departure from the Blackhawks in the summer of 2010.
Vincent said he remembers Aldrich being in a team photo after the Stanley Cup win and planning a “day with the Stanley Cup”.
“One day he was gone,” said Vincent. “Normally when you win a Cup everyone gets extra time. He had been swept up, dropped, fired. “What do you think of the way it was handled? Schar asked.
“All I know is it never got past the Chicago Blackhawks,” Vincent replied.
At the end of the interview, Schar asked Vincent to schedule a second interview. Vincent told TSN that wouldn’t happen.
“I told them everything I had to say,” Vincent told TSN on Thursday.