The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks will forever be remembered as a team that carried an entire city on their backs en route to the first Stanley Cup championship that the Windy City had enjoyed since 1961.
But now, there are some serious allegations being made against the organization by a former player who was on the Cup-winning squad that could cast a shadow of gloom over that legendary season.
According to an explosive and disturbing report that was released several weeks ago from WBEZ Chicago, an unidentified player from the 2010 roster is suing the Blackhawks for ignoring his claims that he and another player were being sexually assaulted by an assistant coach, and that the team did nothing to stop it.
The report states that in May of 2010, which would have been during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, team video coach Brad Aldrich “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of” the player. Additionally, the report says that Aldrich sent “inappropriate text messages” to the player and threatened to “physically, financially and emotionally” harm the player if he “did not engage in sexual activity" with the coach.
Former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel spoke earlier today, saying that the abuse was an open secret within the Chicago locker room.
"…I’d say pretty much every player said, ‘Holy s--t’ and was shocked by it,” Sopel said. “We were all in the same dressing room. It was something that was discussed for at least two or three days. [Then head coach Joel] Quenneville was in the same office as [Aldrich]. We heard about it.”
And now, a former Blackhawks coach may soon be heard from, but with one condition.
Former Blackhawks skills coach Paul Vincent was contacted on Tuesday by law firm Jenner & Block, hired in June by the Chicago NHL team to investigate sexual assault allegations. According to journalist Rick Westhead, Vincent won't be participating unless he receives a guarantee that the findings will be made public by the law firm:
A skills coach for Chicago from 2008-2011, Vincent was a part of their Stanley Cup run in 2010, and later served as head skills instructor for the Florida Panthers.
We certainly hope that the findings will indeed be made public, as the fans of not only the Blackhawks but people everywhere - especially those who are survivors of sexual assault - have the right to know the truth.