Stan Bowman resigns as Blackhawks GM after sexual assault investigation
Stan Bowman stepped down as Chicago Blackhawks general manager, team CEO Danny Wirtz revealed Tuesday.
The 48-year-old also resigned as GM of the 2022 United States men's Olympic hockey team. USA Hockey is expected to announce a replacement in the near future.
Bowman vacated his GM posts following the conclusion of an independent investigation into former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich's alleged sexual assault of a player in 2010. Bowman and other members of the team's management group were informed that Aldrich had at minimum allegedly sexually harassed a player on the team, the inquiry confirmed, but the organization didn't promptly address the incident.
The NHL also fined the Blackhawks $2 million Tuesday, citing the team's "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response in the handling" of the matter.
Former assistant U.S. attorney Reid J. Schar of Jenner & Block produced the probe's findings Tuesday. The player had a sexual encounter with Aldrich in May 2010, the report determined, though both people involved disagreed about whether it was consensual. Team employees who met to discuss the matter on May 23, 2010, included Bowman and then-team president and CEO John McDonough, as well as assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Joel Quenneville. Accounts of the meeting vary widely.
No one from the management group acted until June 14, several days after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, when McDonough reported the information to the director of human resources.
Aldrich made an unwanted sexual advance on a Blackhawks intern on June 10, the former employee told investigators.
Wirtz said he directed the team's legal department to try to reach a settlement with the former Blackhawks player, as well as a former Michigan high school player who sued the organization, according to TSN's Rick Westhead. Aldrich was convicted and sentenced to nine months in prison plus five years of probation for sexually assaulting the high school player in 2013.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement he will soon be meeting personally with Cheveldayoff - now the Winnipeg Jets' GM - and Quenneville - now the Florida Panthers' bench boss - to address their involvement. Both Cheveldayoff and Quenneville publicly denied they had any knowledge of the allegations against Aldrich when asked in July.
The Blackhawks named Kyle Davidson interim GM. He was previously their assistant general manager of hockey administration.
Bowman had worked with the Blackhawks since 2001, joining them that year as special assistant to GM Mike Smith. Chicago promoted Bowman to director of hockey operations and then to assistant GM before naming him GM in July 2009.
Longtime Blackhawks executive Al MacIsaac, vice president of hockey operations, also stepped down Tuesday. MacIsaac was also present in the May 2010 meeting.
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