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The Blackhawks were aware of the sexual assault of two players by a former video coach back in 2010, according to multiple reports.
Citing a former team marketing official, TSN reported that it was an “open secret” within the organization that Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted two players. A player on that team told The Athletic everyone knew about it.
In May, the two players who were allegedly assaulted made the allegations against Aldrich. The players informed then-skills coach Paul Vincent about multiple incidents involving the former coach.
Vincent reached out to the franchise’s president, John McDonough, TSN reported. Also contacted by the players were vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, general manager Stan Bowman, and team sports psychologist James Gary. Nothing ever came of it.
“Brad would routinely befriend young interns and invite them to his apartment in Chicago to watch March Madness basketball and other sports,” the marketing official said. “I was told to steer clear of him because he had tried something at his apartment on a few players. This was not something that only a few people knew about. The entire training staff, a lot of people knew. … This was an open secret.”
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, who was with the Blackhawks in 2010, said on Sunday he was not aware of any such conduct by Aldrich.
Aldrich left the Blackhawks after the 2010 season and took a job on the coaching staff of a high school hockey team in Houghton, Michigan. Three years later, he pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct with a teenager. He was sentenced to nine months in jail. The Blackhawks were used as a reference by Aldrich, according to a lawsuit filed by his victim.
“We had no hint of inappropriateness (at his previous jobs),” a Houghton source told The Athletic. “Even if we did background checks, there was nothing from the Blackhawks that would have saved [the player].”
The 38-year-old Aldrich had a job with the Miami of Ohio University hockey team in 2012, but lasted just four months. His time there is now being investigated.
“What bothers me is they fired him, but they didn’t take it to the cops,” the 2010 Blackhawks player said. “They let him get a job with a U-18 team. They let him go work with minors. They let this happen.”
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