Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff releases first statement on allegations against Brad Aldrich

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff speaks during a press conference. (Trevor Hagan/CP)

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff issued a statement on Thursday regarding whether or not he was aware of any allegations against former Chicago Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich.

“I had no knowledge of any allegations involving Mr. Aldrich until asked if I was aware of anything just prior to the conclusion of his employment with the Chicago Blackhawks," Cheveldayoff said, via the team-issued statement. "After confirming that I had no prior knowledge of anything, I had no further involvement. As this is a legal matter before the courts, I will not be making any further comment; however, to the extent I am contacted by investigators in this matter, I will cooperate to the best of my ability and knowledge.”

Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks' assistant GM, working under GM Stan Bowman, from 2009 until 2011 when he departed to take on the role of GM in Winnipeg.

In a lawsuit filed on May 7 in Cook Country Circuit Court, a former Blackhawks player stated that Aldrich sexually assaulted him and another unidentified Blackhawks player. Attempts to inform Blackhawks management, the player said, did not result in the organization taking any legal action against Aldrich.

A second lawsuit has since been filed against the Blackhawks by a former Michigan student, stating that the team provided positive references about Aldrich after he departed the NHL club despite the negative allegations that had been made against him. After leaving the Blackhawks, Aldrich was convicted in 2013 in Michigan of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving the student and is now on that state's registry of sex offenders.

In June, the Blackhawks hired an outside firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations.

Bowman also addressed the media earlier Thursday, his first time speaking publicly on the subject. Bowman said the organization takes the allegations "very seriously" and said the investigation would have his full cooperation.

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