Brad Aldrich case: Joel Quenneville and the Panthers, it’s over

The Florida Panthers announced Thursday night that head coach Joel Quenneville has agreed to resign.

• Read also: Sexual Assault Allegations: Sympathy for Kyle Beach

• Read also: Brad Aldrich case: Kyle Beach bravely breaks the silence

• Read also: The Blackhawks, in turmoil on and off the ice

Quenneville has been in the hot seat since last Tuesday, when the Brad Aldrich affair hit the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, which he coached at the time of the events, in 2010.

Following a meeting with National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner Gary Bettman, Assistant Commissioner Bill Daly, General Manager Bill Zito and President Matthew Caldwell, Quenneville agreed to leave the Panthers entourage. .

In a statement, Caldwell called Quenneville’s conduct “disturbing and inexcusable”, he who turned a blind eye to the sexual assaults perpetrated by Aldrich.

“I want to express my grief for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, suffered. […] My old team, the Blackhawks, betrayed Kyle and part of the responsibility is mine, ”Quenneville said in a statement that TSN got their hands on.

“I want to reflect on how all of this could have happened and take the time to educate myself on how to make hockey healthy for everyone,” he added.

In a written statement, Bettman supported the Panthers’ decision, and made it clear that there would be no additional sanctions against Quenneville. The commissioner has not closed the door to a future return of the instructor to the league.

“If he wishes to return to the League in any way in the future, I will first need to meet with him to determine the appropriate conditions under which this new job could take place,” he said. Bettman said.

Former NHL player Andrew Brunette, who has been an assistant coach with the Panthers since 2019, will take over.

An incriminating report

The Jenner & Block firm has released its report on the alleged actions that occurred in May 2010, when he was a Blackhawks video coach. He then allegedly forced a young player to participate in sexual intercourse without his consent.

Informed of this situation, the management of the Blackhawks would have held a meeting, in which Quenneville would have participated, and at the end of which no decision was taken to correct the situation. The pilot then reportedly indicated that he preferred to focus on the playoffs, with the Blackhawks on their way to a first Stanley Cup since 1961.

However, Quenneville denied earlier this summer that he was made aware of the situation before the victim filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks earlier this year. But in revealing his identity publicly on Wednesday, Kyle Beach – Aldrich’s alleged victim – said he was convinced Quenneville knew.

“I admire Kyle Beach for his courage to speak out, and I am dismayed that he was so poorly supported after making his first request and in the 11 years that followed, and I am sorry for all he has. had to endure, ”Bettman said in his statement.

Hawks general manager Stan Bowman resigned following the report’s release, as did vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac.

Quenneville was still in office Wednesday night as the Panthers faced the Boston Bruins. Another participant in that fateful 2010 reunion, current Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, is also in the hot seat, but the Winnipeg organization has yet to announce anything about him.