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Chicago Blackhawks' Bowman resigns over sexual assault case

President Stan Bowman has resigned and the Chicago Blackhawks have been fined $2million following the release of the report.

Chicago Blackhawks' Bowman resigns over sexual assault case
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Chicago Blackhawks president of hockey operations Stan Bowman has resigned after a report into the team's response to sexual misconduct allegations in 2010 was released.

Bowman resigns over sexual misconduct report

The 107-page report, conducted by law firm Jenner & Block, investigated the Blackhawks' handling of an allegation from a former player that he was sexually assaulted by then video coach Brad Aldrich during the team's Stanley Cup playoff run.

Jenner & Block was hired by the Blackhawks after the player filed a lawsuit against the team in May of this year.

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The report detailed accounts of discussions among senior executives during the successful playoff campaign after the incident came to light.

Multiple parties told the investigation of a desire to instead focus on the Stanley Cup Finals "to protect team chemistry and avoid bad publicity", while Aldrich remained involved with the team, receiving a championship ring.

No action was taken for three weeks, violating the team's own sexual harassment policy, the report said. It said Aldrich "engaged in an unwanted sexual advance on a Blackhawks intern" during this time.

Aldrich was then allowed to resign, avoiding an investigation. In 2013, he was arrested and pled guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor.

Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz, who took over his role in 2020, addressed the media on Tuesday as the report was released, describing it as "both disturbing and difficult to read".

While the NHL fined the team $2million for their "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response", Wirtz revealed Bowman, who was general manager at the time, had "stepped aside".

"Rocky [chairman W. Rockwell Wirtz] and I appreciate Stan's dedication to the Blackhawks in his many years of work for the team," Wirtz said.

"However, we, and he, ultimately accept that, in his first year as general manager, he made a mistake, alongside our other senior executives at the time, and did not take adequate action in 2010.

"Stan exhibited extreme professionalism and integrity in co-operating with the investigation, moreso than his peers, and we cannot overstate the important role Stan played in revisiting that meeting in the report."


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