NHL Coach Joel Quenneville Resigns Over Role In Blackhawks Sexual Abuse Scandal
Panthers' Joel Quenneville Head Coach Resigns Over Role In Blackhawks Sexual Abuse Scandal
10/29/2021 6:20 AM PT
Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville has resigned from his position ... this after he admitted to bungling the handling of sexual abuse allegations during his time as the Chicago Blackhawks coach.
The NHL announced the move Thursday night ... explaining after Quenneville had a meeting with league commissioner Gary Bettman, both parties were in favor of the Panthers' bench boss stepping down.
"All parties agreed that it was no longer appropriate that he continue to serve as Florida's head coach," Bettman said in a statement.
"We thank the Panthers' organization for working with us to ensure that a thorough process was followed."
Quenneville was the coach of the Blackhawks back in 2010 ... when a player -- who later ID'ed himself as forward Kyle Beach -- claimed he was sexually assaulted by the team's video coach.
Thank you, Kyle Beach. No one should have to experience that, let alone the response from those in positions of power. Gut wrenching to watch.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 27, 2021 @frank_seravalli
There are no words for #Blackhawks allowing Brad Aldrich’s life to be like it was the day before, like nothing happened (via @rwesthead) pic.twitter.com/vsAPHfHmNr
Beach said in a civil lawsuit filed in May 2021 that the coach, Brad Aldrich, told Beach he wouldn't play in the NHL if he turned down the coach's sexual advances -- so Beach claims he was forced into a sexual encounter with the man.
Aldrich has not denied having a relationship with Beach, though he's claimed the encounter was consensual.
Beach says despite bringing the issue up to Blackhawks brass ... he didn't feel enough was done to remedy the situation -- and after a lengthy investigation into the case, the NHL agreed.
Bettman hit the Blackhawks with a $2 million fine last week ... saying it was a "direct and necessary response to the failure of the Club to follow-up and address the 2010 incident in a timely and appropriate manner."
The NHL's probe, meanwhile, also revealed Quenneville did have knowledge of Beach's claims at the time ... which was damning for the coach, who had previously denied knowing about the allegations until 2021.
As a result, Quenneville stepped down from his role -- and Bettman says the two will have to have another meeting if he ever wants to get back into the league.
"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. "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."
Beach said on Twitter on Thursday night he's healing and is grateful for all of the support he's received this week amid the news of the scandal ... but he added the Blackhawks are still trying "to destroy my case in court."