We didn’t write anything on the Chicago Blackhawks/Joel Quenneville story to this point, mostly because there wasn’t a direct Flyers connection. They did play the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup, which crosses over into the timeline of these allegations, but that’s the only overlap here.
The “allegations” in question involve sexual assault, and if you’re not familiar with the story, the Blackhawks are accused of covering up an incident involving Kyle Beach dating back more than a decade.
The short version is that Beach, who revealed himself as the person at the center of the story this week, accused former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich of sexually assaulting him during the 2010 title run. At the time, Beach was a minor leaguer who played with the practice squad, and when he reported the assault, the accusations were allegedly dismissed by the team. An independent investigation was launched in June, and it revealed that Chicago execs failed to file a report, despite discussing the accusations internally.
Ultimately, the Blackhawks acknowledged that they mishandled the whole thing, and were fined $2 million by the NHL. GM Stan Bowman resigned. And Joel Quenneville, the coach at the time, is now in charge of the Panthers. He’s scheduled to meet with Gary Bettman and did not speak to media after Wednesday night’s Florida game. A lot of people felt like he shouldn’t have been coaching.
From the New York Post:
Per the investigation conducted by law firm Block & Jenner, Quenneville was aware of the allegations, but the team didn’t 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 Wednesday, Beach doubled down that Quenneville was aware of the allegations.
“I’ve witnessed meetings, right after I reported it to [then-Blackhawks coach] James Gary, that were held in Joel Quenneville’s office. There’s absolutely no way that he can deny knowing it,” Beach said.
So Quenneville’s status is up in the air, and he might not continue as Panthers coach. That depends on how the meeting with Bettman goes.
Quenneville, you’ll recall, was very loosely linked to the Flyers job when Dave Hakstol was fired. He instead took the Florida job after 11 seasons in which he won three Stanley Cups with the Hawks.
Here’s the link to the Kyle Beach interview on TSN, if you haven’t seen it:
Kyle Beach, John Doe in the Blackhawks investigation, talks to @rwesthead about how his NHL experience 'changed forever,’ his reaction to the findings, and support for other victims of sexual assault.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) October 27, 2021