Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman steps down after release of investigation into misconduct allegations

Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman stepped down Tuesday after a law firm announced the findings of its investigation related to 2010 misconduct allegations.

It was an investigation into the franchise that began in June after allegations of sexual assault from a former player were brought against former video coach Bradley Aldrich from 2010.

Tuesday was the day in which the findings of that investigation into the Blackhawks’ actions in response to the allegations 11 years ago were released by the law firm of Jenner and Block, which was led by former federal prosecutor Reid Schar.

As a result of the investigation, Bowman is out as the team’s general manager and president of hockey operations, according to team CEO Danny Wirtz, along with any other executives involved in the 2010 incidents involving Aldrich and the player, who is described in the investigation as “John Doe.”

This would also include team senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac.

Assistant general manager of hockey administration Kyle Davidson will take over Bowman’s position in an interim role.

After the announcement, the NHL fined the Blackhawks $2 million dollars for their lack of prompt action involving the allegations. According to a news release, $1 million of the fine will go to organizations in Chicago that support victims of sexual and other forms of abuse.

The John Doe in this case also released a statement following the release of the Jenner and Block investigation through his Chicago attorney Susan E. Loggans.

In his remarks following the announcement of front office changes, Danny Wirtz acknowledged that executives in 2010 put performance above taking the proper steps to address the allegations.

“We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected in our failures to promptly address these allegations as we became aware of them,” said Wirtz. “As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to these individuals who suffered from the misconduct of our former employee.

“We must and will do better.”

Within minutes of the announcement of the findings, the team released this letter to fans.

Shortly after the announcement, Bowman released a statement following his decision to step down.

Later in the day, Bowman resigned as the general manager of USA Hockey’s Olympic men’s team.

The full investigation by Jenner and Block can be read by clicking here. (Warning: Documents contain graphic descriptions).

According to Schar, 139 witnesses were interviewed, including “John Doe” and Aldrich. Both said in the interview that a sexual encounter had occurred on May 8 or 9, 2010, but differed on whether it was consensual.

It was not until May 23, 2010 that a meeting was held to discuss the allegation made by “John Doe” against Aldrich with a group of Blackhawks executives that included Bowman, then-head coach Joel Quenneville, then-President John McDonough, MacIsaac, General Manager, then-Executive Vice President Jay Blunk, and then-Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Instead of immediately reporting it, the Blackhawks waited till after the Stanley Cup Playoffs to report it to human resources, doing so on June 14, 2010. This was a violation of the Blackhawks’ own policy on sexual harassment, which said that any reports should be handled “promptly and thoroughly.”

Bowman joined the Blackhawks in 2000 as a special assistant to the general manager and would rise up the ranks of the franchise during that decade. He was the director of hockey operations from 2005 through 2007. He then became the assistant general manager under Dale Tallon until he succeeded him in June of 2009, becoming the ninth GM in franchise history.

In 2020, he had the title of President of Hockey Operations added to his general manager title.

During his tenure, the Blackhawks won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015 while making the postseason seven-straight seasons. Since 2017, however, the team has seen a decline on the ice, failing to make it to the playoffs in 2018, 2019, and 2021. In 2020, the team was likely not headed to the postseason before the pandemic paused the season, but as the 12th place team in the Western Conference, got into the “play-in” tournament.

By upsetting the Oilers in the five-game series, they got into the traditional Stanley Cup Playoffs where they lost to Las Vegas in the first round.

This summer, Bowman made a pair of major moves as he traded for reigning Vezina Trophy winner Marc Andre-Fleury while also acquiring defenseman Seth Jones, with the latter signing an eight-year contract extension.

Check back with WGNTV.com for more updates as this story develops.

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