NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2021

by | Oct 27, 2021 | News, NHL | 28 comments

Stan Bowman steps aside as Blackhawks general manager as the Blackhawks make front office changes in the wake of an investigation into sexual assault allegations involving their former video coach. Details plus recaps of Tuesday’s game and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Chicago Blackhawks team president and general manager Stan Bowman stepped aside following the release of details of an independent investigation into sexual assault allegations made against former video coach Bradley Aldrich by a former player over a decade ago. Senior VP of hockey operations Al MacIsaac was also relieved of his duties. The news was announced in a virtual press briefing yesterday that included Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz and Jenner & Block lead investigator Reid Schar.

Former Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman (NHL.com).

In addition, the NHL has fined the Blackhawks $2 million for “the organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response” in its handling of this matter. Aldrich left the Blackhawks following the 2009-10 season.

The investigation found Bowman and MacIsaac met with then-president and CEO John McDonough, executive VP Jay Blunk, assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, head coach Joel Quenneville and mental skills coach James Gary after the Blackhawks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in May 2010 to discuss the allegations. However, nothing was done until three weeks later after the Blackhawks won the Cup.

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman intends to meet personally with Cheveldayoff and Quenneville in the near future. Cheveldayoff is now the GM of the Winnipeg Jets and Quenneville is the head coach of the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The full 107-page report, based on interviews with 139 people, has been released to the public (warning: contains graphic and disturbing details). It reveals the Blackhawks organization ultimately put winning a championship over pursuing prompt action against a sexual predator in their midst.

When they finally acted, they didn’t go to the police. Instead, Aldrich was given the choice of stepping down or being subjected to an internal investigation. He got severance pay, a playoff bonus, a day with the Cup and a complimentary reference letter from Quenneville. Nearly four years later, Aldrich was sentenced to nine months in jail and five years probation on criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from his alleged involvement with a high school player.

At every level, the Blackhawks failed to protect “John Doe”, who was also reportedly later ostracized and mocked by several teammates following his ordeal. They chose to cover it up for years, doing immeasurable harm to Aldrich’s victims and tarnishing a once-proud organization. The only positive to come out of this is “John Doe” finally received some measure of justice for his ordeal.

This story never would’ve seen the light of day without the determined reporting by TSN’s Rick Westhead and The Athletic’s Katie Strang. Their reports earlier this year led to the long-overdue investigation into the allegations.

The fallout from this story is ongoing and the aftermath will be felt by the Blackhawks, and the NHL, for a long time. We can only hope there will be lessons learned by the league to ensure victims of sexual assault at any level within its ranks never have to face what “John Doe” endured for the past decade.


NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken won its first home game in franchise history by downing the Montreal Canadiens 5-1. Brandon Tanev scored twice and Yanni Gourde collected a goal and an assist. The hapless Habs have lost five of their first six games this season. Earlier in the day, Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin said sidelined teammate Shea Weber is essentially retired though he hasn’t officially done so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin said out loud what everyone knows. Injuries have ended Weber’s career but he’s still under contract through 2025-26. He’ll remain on long-term injury reserve. If he officially retires, the Canadiens would only face a salary-cap recapture penalty of $200K per season until his contract expires. His former club, the Nashville Predators, would get hit with $6.1 million annually as they were the ones who matched his contract offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored the tying and winning goals 19 seconds apart in the third period to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Andrew Copp also had a goal and two assists for the Jets. Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.

The Calgary Flames picked up their fourth straight win by dropping the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Andrew Mangiapane scored two goals for the Flames. Pavel Zacha replied with two for the Devils.

A 28-save performance by Andrei Vasilevskiy gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the Lightning’s first regulation win of the season. Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal and an assist.

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their second win of the season by beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-1. Robin Lehner made 26 saves while Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist. Both clubs have 2-4-0 records.

Cam Talbot made 22 saves as the Minnesota Wild held off the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Matt Dumba scored the eventual game-winner as the Wild have won five straight games. The Canucks announced defenseman Travis Hamonic has traveled to Vancouver and will join their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford. He did not report to the club in September and was placed on leave while dealing with a personal matter.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi had two assists and goaltender Juuse Saros kicked out 28 shots in a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund tallied for the Predators.


STLTODAY.COM: Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly was placed on the non-roster COVID-19 protocol list yesterday, joining winger Brandon Saad. They will be sidelined at least 10 days.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and center Henrik Borgstrom were placed on the club’s COVID protocol list.

ABC 6: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dean Kukan will be sidelined eight weeks after fracturing his wrist in Monday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Coyotes goaltender Carter Hutton is expected to miss two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Conor Timmins is out eight-to-12 weeks (lower body) while winger Ryan Dzingel has suffered an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed forward Ross Johnston to a four-year contract extension. He’ll earn $1.1 million annually.


  1. Pens…. Being extremely Undermanned and overtasked against overdue Bolts …. Result was inevitable…. Marino and Zucker had truly awful games; Jarry who has been playing spectacular… let in one he wants back for sure. They pressed too late and too little… hopefully troops coming back soon… there had been rumour of Sid back Thursday (home to Flames)…. But 8 points in 6 games; if they can get just 1 point between Thursday and Sat games … 9 points in 8 games very very good with a completely decimated team (5 of top 6 players missing) …. Gives Sid further rehab rest to fully recover…. After Sat next game is a week Thursday….4/11/21… home vs Flyers…. that’s a better start (rather than rushing) for Sid

    Odd thing I don’t think we will see in a while again…. in the two most recent games against each other… Pens v Bolts…. EACH of the two games had 3 goals scored with the goalie pulled… 6 total

    Knights v Avs… Knights wanted it more and Lehner shined…. That says it all

    Bowman…. Good riddance ….. trying to throw the blame up the chain AFTER discovery that he knew….. from TSN…

    “I promptly reported the matter to the then-President and CEO who committed to handling the matter. I learned this year that the inappropriate behavior involved a serious allegation of sexual assault. I relied on the direction of my superior that he would take appropriate action”….. but you didn’t follow up…. you are a moron… b-bye

    Did Chevy and/or Quenville know…… ????????

    • Ooops…. missed the word “what” before “did Chevy and/or Quenville …”

      • Everyone in that meeting including Chevy and Quenneville knew what happened. As a first year GM, I’m sure that Bowman did not have the stones or desire to challenge his boss. He moved the complaint to the President of the organization who promptly swept everything under the rug to avoid embarrassment and to not serve as a distraction for a team who ultimately won the Cup. I’m sure Stan talked to his legendary coach father – wonder what advise he received? Bottom line, it was poorly handled by everyone and everyone should pay the price including Chevy and Quenneville. Any person in that meeting had the ability to blow the whistle and did not – by then it was already too late for John Doe #1 but blowing the whistle would have saved John Doe#2 from the sexual predator.
        Re Weber all but retired – if he had any inkling of a come back, it’s gone now after watching the first 7 games of the season.

      • Everyone knows everything in a locker room, Pengy. Everyone in the hockey ops. head office knows too.
        Pretty hard to keep secrets in that setting.

      • Quenneville and Chevaldayoff are mentioned in the report. Their previous denials of knowledge have been shown to be false. They are as good as gone. Just a question of when.

      • Hi HM67

        Agree that they all likely knew; but not being privy to the actual conversations and who arrived when (to the meeting) or at what level it was discussed at that meeting (“we’ve rec’d a complaint about a staff member, how do we proceed [without context/details] is completely different from a full discussion and full details).

        My gut says it is more likely the latter but again, I wasn’t there.

        No matter what— completely inappropriate direction and outcome from BlackHawks and this indecision/non decision/diversion/whatever lead to (as you pointed out) at LEAST one other young individual being harmed.

        SOP— again as above to HM67— you are likely right that at the very least the key players should have heard about it…. all players might be stretching it. However, the key players (Toews, Kane , Sharp, etc etc ) most likely knew about this. Again, not good

        Hi Howard.. we’ll have to wait and see after Bettman meetings with Chevy and JQ. They are now with other organizations so I don’t know their policies and/or their ability to terminate (I’m no lawyer like you) for actions that happened 11 years ago while they were employed with another organization. From a legal perspective, can they (Jets/Panthers) terminate the contracts of Chevy/JQ for grossly immoral “non” actions while with the BlackHawks?

        No matter what…. this was awful all around; and as HM67 pointed out…. this could have avoided the infractions against John Doe 2 (and who knows how many more that may not be willing to come forward).

        Peeved Pengy over and out

      • Is Sopel and Boynton knew………everyone knew.

      • Pengy, sorry for the late response. Been a busy day.
        My comments about Chevy and Q likely being let go were more from a PR perspective than legal. Stories like this one tend to gather steam and sweep up everything in its path. The pressure for the two of them to quit or be let go will soon be too strong for them or their teams to endure.
        Remember that coaches, unlike players, do not have a union. So there’s no collective bargaining agreement to protect them and no grievance procedure. Although I imagine that there is some sort of a standard contract for coaches as there is for players. The terms of the contract will govern as to whether the facts of the matter justify dismissal for cause.
        Even if there is a dispute as to whether they can be fired for cause, I don’t see a court ordering reinstatement. That’s generally not done in cases without a union grievance procedure. It would just be a question of if they get paid for the balance of their contract.
        I’m guessing that if it reaches the point where they’re let go, they’ll probably work out a financial settlement.

  2. Q and Chev need to be fired by their teams too. This is a travesty on many levels.

    Reading this now and then the subsequent years of their success were all earned after an assault like this was covered up. The criminal here extorted the Hawks who were more then willing to go along in their desire to win.

    Hawks fans should be embarrassed. Period.

    • Bowman stepped down as he should have. He showed poor judgement and can’t be trusted to make decisions for the Hawks.
      As for the rest, like Pengy said, what did they know and when did they know it.

      Until we know that, I will reserve judgement.

  3. Re Weber and possible “formal” retirement….. why would he do that…. Formal retirement stops all paycheques. Remaining on LTIR (Like Pronger, Kessler, etc etc etc)…. Insurance company keeps writing the payroll cheque…. He still has the better part of $12 M owing to him…. Who in their right mind walks away from that?

    • Exactly Pengy. Weber will be on LTIR till his contract expires. Like Savard, Pronger, Clarkson, Horton, etc. before him.

      • And, until that practice is ended – if ever – he could become trade bait to a team needing big $$ LRIR relief

    • If you are on LTIR, you still have to show up to training camp, go through a physical at the beginning and end of the season, go through a team mandated rehab program to get back on the ice, and you are under supervision from the league in terms of making sure you are actually injured.

      He makes $9 million in this year and next, well worth the poking but its $1 million/ye for the last 3.

      If as is rumored there is a job waiting for him he could be free of examination and continue earning money by retiring in two years.

      • Hi HF30

        No idea if there is a job or not waiting for him down the road. If it pays nowhere near $1M per, the inconvenience of showing up to be looked at by Dr’s is certainly worth it.

        just 5 years ago, BOTH Savard and Pronger went through the examination just to collect paycheques (insurance company) totaling only $575K throughout 16/17.

        Clarkson did it for $1M only 2 years ago. (19/20).

        I think he likely sits back and collects. That is just my gut feeling though.

  4. Hi Lyle,

    Not that I need or want to know what player it was but does the media and other organizations know who “John Doe” is? Also, just based on the report that came out, do you think Chevy and Quennville keep their jobs?

    • John Doe has not been revealed. It’s up to the Jets and Panthers to decide if those two will remain in their current positions, though their upcoming discussions with Bettman will undoubtedly factor into it.

  5. Some prominent players with familiar names were on that Chicago cup-winning team, and are still. Another is a TV personality. Why might they have been silent while their teammate was being assaulted? Are they irreproachable?

    • Good question.

  6. Chevy should step down, or be fired. He sat on knowledge of the incident for a decade and let those young players live without support from a place that should have been supporting them and protecting them.
    If Q wrote a letter of recommendation to the high school he should be not only fired but charged.

    • We know Chevvy and Q were in the meeting. We have some parts of statements in the Executive Summary of the report (only a few pages and I suggest all read it if you comment on it).
      I won’t paste it all here but it was an accusation by one employee about another with conflicting stories. Not a sure thing yet, but enough that IMO the video coach needed to be suspended/away from the team while they investigated the claim. No brainer IMO. That is on the GM and his boss to deal with.
      Q pushed the line that they were in trying to win, which may have impacted the decision. So he deserves punishment for that, maybe lose his job, I dunno. Then the recommendation letter? Brutal.

      Chevvy? No idea.

      Here is how things like this work in a large company when something wrong between employees happens. A complaint is made and HR maybe even legal gets involved ASAP.
      And only one member of MGT should be involved other than HR and Legal. The reason is privacy and rights of the victim as well as the person accused. Remember it was only an accusation at the time, you can’t just turf a guy unless you can prove it or if you want to pay him some real $$ to leave. That isn’t the right thing to do either is it?

      Once that starts everybody involved needs to shut the F up. That includes not talking about it to Chevvy, the coach, your wife, your buddies and sure as hell not the players. Again, it is for both the victim and the accused.
      That should have included after the scumbag resigned. Again, nothing was proven. And they should have advised the victim to press charges with the police immediately.

      The people in charge of handling this properly did not. They were fired.

      I will reserve judgement on the rest, as when they say I was in the meeting and wasn’t in the loop after? It is entirely possible they were not.

  7. Bergevin hasn’t been named in the Blackhawk investigation nor has he been called in by Bettman.
    He was part of the organization and I wonder (purely guessing) that re-upping his contract in Montreal is on hold till he is totally cleared and nobody claiming skeletons in the closet.

    • Hopefully his re-upping is being held up now because the team he put together is 1 and 6. He should resign not because he was involved in this but because his time is up.

  8. I agree with the take on Q and Chevy but one thing no one is talking about the fine from the NHL. 2MIL? seriously? That’s nothing but a slap on the wrist.
    I bet they make that in a couple of games.

    Penalty for the organization should have been much higher, both in terms of monetary value as well as draft picks.
    This fine is an absolute joke and clear indication of what the NHL commissioner values more.
    Disappointing and downright despicable

  9. The truth will set you free.
    While attending a prestigious boarding school on a lake in southern Vancouver Island I was subjected to an attempted sexual assault by a school master. He was left badly bruised , I reported it to school authorities. There were witnesses.
    The shame and hurt lies in the schools response . Nothing was done and the creep finished his career at the school . As Pengy said the lockerroom knows all. There were standing jokes in the school about this jerk. I was not the first.
    Subsequently the school was subject to numerous law suits. We can only imagine the cost.
    Your first loss is your least loss.
    It takes humility and strength to accept a failure .
    Vanity must be cast aside at such times.A most difficult task.
    Noone at that school or the Blackhawks organization had the courage to face the truth.
    The shame lies with them and they will carry it with them always.
    Pity as the Blackhawks were always one of my favourite teams

  10. I was thinking the same thing as someone noted earlier. 2 million dollar fine for a team worth over 1 billion dollars. What a joke. Every single person on the team at that time and all coaches and staff should be barred from the game for life….period. They all allowed this young man’s life to be ruined and possibly his hockey career. Of course since we don’t know who he was this is simply speculation. How much bigger does this story have to get in order for some heads to really start rolling. 107 page document with over 139 people interviewed and personnel like Bowman are “allowed to step down”. He and the rest of those jerks should be arrested for being an accessory-after-the-fact. A terrible crime was committed and everyone just gets to walk away.

  11. John Doe has been revealed to be Kyle beach he had an interview with tsn.

  12. Ugh Bruins looked overmatched Ullmark wasn’t very good. Bruins need better players and a goalie who can stop pucks.