A day after being implicated in the findings of a sexual assault investigation against his former Blackhawks team, Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville was on the coaching bench – but nowhere to be found after the game.
Quenneville – who was aware of the assault allegations against former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich while he was head coach, according to findings released Tuesday – dodged the media after the game. Instead, general manager Bill Zito addressed reporters.
“In light of the news this afternoon, we thought it appropriate for me to address all of you,” Zito said. “Joel will meet with Commissioner Gary Bettman tomorrow. He made no comment prior to this meeting.
Earlier that night, Kyle Beach introduced himself as the anonymous former Blackhawks player who accused Aldrich of sexually assaulting him in 2010, during the team’s Stanley Cup title race. According to the investigation by law firm Block & Jenner, Quenneville was aware of the allegations, but the team did not act until weeks later, quietly asking Aldrich to resign or face an investigation. Aldrich also celebrated with the team when they won the Cup.
Speaking on TSN on Wednesday, Beach doubled down on Quenneville being aware of the allegations.
“I attended meetings, just after reporting it to [then-Blackhawks coach] James Gary, which took place in Joel Quenneville’s office. There’s absolutely no way he can deny knowing it, ”Beach said.
Quenneville will likely learn of his fate after meeting Bettman on Thursday. His Panthers are 7-0-0 this season.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman resigned Tuesday after the findings were released.