In the wake of the Chicago Blackhawks investigation that revealed they mishandled allegations that a former assistant coach sexually assaulted a player, current Florida Panthers head coach and former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville says he’ll have a private meeting with Gary Bettman to discuss the matter Thursday.
“Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with Gary Bettman. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the process,” Quenneville told reporters Wednesday morning, adding that he “won’t comment any further until the appropriate time after I meet with the commissioner.”
Bettman announced that he planned to arrange personal meetings with Quenneville and Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, both of whom were with the team when the allegations were first reported, to discuss their roles in the situation.
Quenneville served as head coach of the Blackhawks from 2008 to 2018 and said in July that he’d “first learned of these allegations through the media earlier this summer” in a statement provided by the Panthers to the Associated Press.
However, the findings of the independent investigation into the Blackhawks’ handling of the situation, conducted by Jenner & Block LLP law firm, contradicted those claims.
According to the report, Quenneville was part of a club meeting to discuss the allegations that then-assistant coach Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted a player, identified only as John Doe to protect their anonymity, on May 23rd, 2010.
Asked Wednesday whether he still stood by his statement, Quenneville said:
“I do, but I can’t comment on it.”
Quenneville was also asked if he’d held a team meeting in the wake of Tuesday’s Blackhawks investigation findings being made public. He indicated that there had been “several little quick meetings about different subjects,” and acknowledged that the investigation “was addressed.”