Alleged sexual assault of two former Blackhawks was an “open secret” amongst players and staff

A shocking and disturbing report from TSN's Rick Westhead.

HockeyFeed

The Chicago Blackhawks organization has been absolutely rocked by scandal in recent weeks after it was uncovered that the team hid allegations of sexual assault for over a decade.

The allegations came to light last month after a former player filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the franchise. That unnamed player alleges that he reported the abuse to the team and that he was essentially ignored. The player alleges that then team video coach Brad Aldrich had allegedly sexually assaulted him and then threatened him via text messages and other communications against making a complaint.

A second former player alleges that he was also sexual assaulted by Aldrich and he also accuses the Blackhawks of covering up the abuse of two players and then granting Aldrich a letter of reference when he left the team quietly in the summer of 2010. That letter gave him the opportunity to go on and find other victims, the lawsuit alleges.

Aldrich would go on to be convicted of abusing a 17 year old hockey player in 2013 after resigning from his position as director of hockey operations at Miami University on Nov. 27, 2012, “under suspicion of unwanted touching of a male adult."

Needless to say, these do not sound like hollow allegations. The fact that the Blackhawks choose to ignore these serious allegations indicates to me that they're culpable in this crime. Not only did the team fail its own players in this matter, it enabled Aldrich to continue his abuse as evidenced by his 2013 conviction. Frankly, it's sickening... why were the police not involved the moment allegations surfaced?

From TSN's Rick Westhead:

TSN reported last week that two former Blackhawks reported to then-skills coach Paul Vincent in May 2010 during the Western Conference finals that they had been abused by Aldrich.
Vincent says he asked the team’s management to report the allegations to Chicago police but that his plea was rejected. Vincent said he is willing to testify on behalf of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits against the Blackhawks.
“I feel a weight has been lifted off of me,” Vincent said in an interview on Monday with TSN. “I will stand up in court and say what happened. I know what the team did to cover this up and coming forward was the right thing to do."
Vincent alleges that after the players approached him on May 16, 2010, in San Jose, he asked Blackhawks sports psychologist James Gary to follow up with the players and management.
The following day, Vincent says he was called into a meeting with team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman, vice-president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, and Gary. Vincent said that he asked the team to report the alleged abuse to Chicago police. That request was refused, Vincent said.

Suffice it to say that so many awful mistakes and poor decisions were made by people in powerful positions here that the entire organization needs to be investigated. And I don't mean from within... I don't mean some half-hearted "internal investigation"... I mean a full-on police investigation.