The Chicago Blackhawks have been rocked to their core with the recent allegations surrounding former video coach Brad Aldrich, and now even the organization's former players are calling for serious action to be taken against the National Hockey League.
On Saturday NHL insider Rick Westhead drew attention to a call from former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy for an independent investigation into what went on during Aldrich's time with the Blackhawks organization and more specifically how those issues were addressed by Blackhawks management at that time.
The comments from Westhead were enough to provoke a seemingly enraged response from former Chicago Blackhawks player Brent Sobel, who quite publicly called for members of the NHL's front office to potentially face jail time for their role in this entire fiasco.
These calls for action all come in response to the alleged conduct of the aforementioned Aldrich, a man who was reportedly accused by a former Blackhawks player of sexual misconduct during his time with the team. Aldrich was never convicted of those crimes however since those incidents are alleged to have taken place Aldrich was been charged and convicted of another sex related crime, this time involving a minor, one relating to an underaged hockey player he had oversight of. Aldrich is now a registered sex offender in the state of Michigan as a result of those charges.
The accusations from former players have come to light largely due to a legal filing made by a Blackhawks player who has remained unnamed and as well thanks some scathing reports regarding what went on behind the scenes in Chicago during Aldrich's tenure with the team. Most damning of all here for the Blackhawks, and by extension the National Hockey League, is that the decision to not get police involved allowed him to be put in a position where he would have younger and more vulnerable players to prey on.
"That doesn’t bother me, that they let him take pictures with the Cup," said a 2010 Blackhawks player as per The Athletic. "What bothers me is they fired him, but they didn’t take it to the cops. … They let him get a job with a U-18 team. They let him go work with minors. They let this happen."
All eyes are on the Stanley Cup Playoffs at this time and that has provided something of a distraction for the NHL as this story has begun to leak out. This story is far from over however and, with more and more players speaking out about this man and his abhorrent behavior, it sounds like things may get a lot worse from here.