Hours after former Chicago Blackhawks winger Kyle Beach came forward as the John Doe in the team’s sexual assault scandal, former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville resigned from his current position as the head coach of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers announced Quenneville’s resignation Thursday night.
“I want to express my sorrow for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, has suffered. My former team the Blackhawks failed Kyle and I own my share of that,” Quenneville said in a statement, according to a tweet from TSN Hockey reporter Chris Johnston. “I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone.”
The sexual assault scandal revolves around Chicago’s Stanley Cup run in 2010. According to an investigation, Beach had reported that he was sexually assaulted by then-Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich in May. The investigation also found Quenneville and others in the Blackhawks organization did not prioritize addressing Beach’s allegations, presumably because they did not want to take away from the team’s push toward a championship.
“[Former Blackhawks General Manager] Stan Bowman has quoted Joel Quenneville saying — and this is not a quote, this is my words — saying that the playoffs, the Stanley Cup playoffs and trying to win a Stanley Cup was more important than sexual assault,” Beach told TSN’s Rick Westhead in an interview. “And I can’t believe that. As a human being, I cannot believe that, and I cannot accept that.”
Bowman resigned after the investigation was released earlier this week.
The Blackhawks released a statement following Beach’s interview on the sexual assault scandal.
“It was inexcusable for then-executives of the Blackhawks organization to delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct,” the Blackhawks said in the statement. “No playoff game or championship is more important than protecting our players and staff from predatory behavior.”
The fallout from the Blackhawks sexual assault scandal is likely to continue. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to meet Friday with Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who also worked for the Blackhawks when Beach made his allegations.