CHICAGO – It was a news conference intended to talk about the upcoming NHL Draft for the Blackhawks as they hold seven selections.
But there is a more pressing topic that’s currently over the franchise at the moment: The sexual assault allegations made by a former player against then video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010 that is the subject of two lawsuits against the franchise.
Stan Bowman knew that, beginning his virtual news conference on Thursday with a statement on the situation.
“As you know, the Blackhawks have engaged an outside legal firm to conduct an independent review of these allegations, and we need to give the experts the necessary time and latitude to do their job well,” said the team’s president of hockey operations in the prepared statement, in which he declined to discuss more on specifics of the topic.
One thing the team’s vice president of hockey operations discussed was his willingness to participate in that investigation into the franchise’s actions back in 2010.
“The review itself is something that I do plan to participate in and I’m going to give my full cooperation,” said Bowman.
At the same time, Bowman declined to say whether that completed investigation would be made public.
“As far as where it goes, that’s not something that I can comment on. I do know that we have some experts that we brought in, from my understanding, these are well-respected people in the legal community, and I intend to fully cooperate with them.”
As it does, the situation continues to hang over the franchise that won three Stanley Cups during the 2010s, including the year in which the alleged assault occurred. From a hockey perspective, however, Bowman said that his focus remains clear when it comes to building the 2021-2022 team.
“There’s a lot going on, there’s no question about that, but I have a job to do here, and that is to build our team as best I can, and that’s what I’m focused on,” said Bowman. “We have a team approach here; my staff is fully engaged and we’re gonna do our best to focus on improving our team and whether that’s through the draft or through trades, or through free agency, we’re hard at work, we dedicate our time to this, so that’s what we’re focused on.”