Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford will return to the team in early January after the organization conducted an investigation into misconduct allegations levied against the coach.
According to the Blackhawks, Crawford will remain suspended from team activities until Jan. 2 and will resume his role as an assistant coach to Jeremy Colliton beginning on that date.
“Through our review, we confirmed that Marc proactively sought professional counselling to work to improve and become a better communicator, person and coach,” the team said in a statement. “We learned that Marc began counselling in 2010 and he has continued therapy on a regular basis since. We believe Marc has learned from his past actions and has committed to striving to reform himself and evolve personally and professionally.”
Former NHL player Sean Avery said in an interview that Crawford had kicked him during a game while the two men were with the Los Angeles Kings. Several other players, including Patrick O’Sullivan and Brent Sopel, also alleged misconduct on the part of Crawford.
“Players like Sean Avery, Harold Druken, Patrick O’Sullivan, and Brent Sopel have had the strength to publicly come forward and I’m deeply sorry for hurting them,” Crawford said in a statement. “I offer my sincere apologies for my past behavior.”
Crawford said the hopes to be “part of the solution” moving forward for the league, and that he wants to try to help the Blackhawks and the NHL to “make our game better for everyone.”
Crawford was hired before the 2019-20 as an assistant coach for the Blackhawks. He has previously served as a head coach for the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings, and Dallas Stars.