Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz has sent a letter to the Hockey Hall of Fame asking for ex-coach Brad Aldrich's name to be removed from the Stanley Cup in wake of a sexual assault investigation.
In his letter to Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman Lanny McDonald, Wirtz wrote "it was a mistake to submit [Aldrich's] name."
"I am humbly requesting that the Hockey Hall of Fame consider 'x-ing' out his name on the Stanley Cup," Wirtz wrote. "While nothing can undo what he did, leaving his name on the most prestigious trophy in sports seems profoundly wrong."
He noted that it wouldn't be the first time a name would be removed, writing that Basil Pocklington was stamped over on the 1983-84 Stanley Cup after the Oilers owner at the time put his father's name onto the trophy list despite him having nothing to do with the team.
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"Taking a stand on the unforgivable behavior of Aldrich should include erasing his name from the Cup," Wirtz wrote. "The NHL screens and takes seriously, as it should, the eligibility of players seeking the distinct honor of being included. Out of respect to each and every player who sacrificed to earn their place in history and on the Stanley Cup, our request is based on principle and our moral belief that a convicted sex offender does not belong on the Stanley Cup."
On Tuesday, the Blackhawks released the findings of an investigation conducted by an independent law firm into their handling of the allegations levied by former player Kyle Beach.
Beach, a 2008 first round draft pick of the Blackhawks, alleges that he was sexually assaulted by former video coach Brad Aldrich in an apartment in May 2010, just before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup later that summer.
In the report, Aldrich said the sexual encounter he had with Beach was consensual, and denies any wrongdoing in the case.
Beach alleges that he came forward to several team personnel.
The investigation found that president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac met with John McDonough, Jay Blunk, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Joel Quenneville and James Gary met in May 2010 to discuss the allegations.
No action was taken for three weeks, after the Blackhawks won and celebrated the 2010 Stanley Cup.
At that time, Aldrich was given a choice to either resign his position or face an investigation, and he ended up quitting his post.
In an interview, Beach said Aldrich was allowed to continue working as the team’s video coach even after the allegations were relayed to team personnel, with Aldrich continuing to work with players as the playoffs went on.
Aldrich also received a championship ring, was present at the banner unveiling ceremony in Oct. 2010, and even was given his own day with the Stanley Cup in Houghton, Michigan.
“When they won, to see him paraded around, lifting the Cup at the parade, at the team pictures, at the celebrations, it made me feel like nothing,” Beach said. “It made me feel like I didn’t exist.”
After Aldrich left the organization, he worked with several colleges before working with a high school team in Michigan. While there, he was accused of sexually assaulting a player, and he later pleaded guilty to charges in the case. He is now a registered sex offender in the state of Michigan.
Now, multiple lawsuits are pending against the Blackhawks over their handling of the abuse allegations. One was filed by Beach, who alleges that the team failed to act to investigate the allegations, and also allowed Aldrich to continue on in his role as a coach even after the allegations were brough to the attention of team executives.
The Blackhawks are also being sued by a youth hockey player that was allegedly assaulted by Aldrich in 2013.
The team has filed motions to dismiss both cases.
Since the report was released this week, Bowman and Quenneville both resigned from their positions while MacIsaac was relieved of his duties.
The NHL on Friday announced, however, that Kevin Cheveldayoff, general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, who was in the meeting where Beach’s allegations were discussed, would not face discipline.
Cheveldayoff joined the Jets’ organization in 2011 as their new general manager.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Susan Loggans, the lawyer representing both Beach and the other alleged victim in the lawsuits pending against the Blackhawks, will meet with Chicago Blackhawks lawyers for potential settlement talks next week.