Not going to sugar-coat today’s bullets intro at all. Just going to get to the elephant in the room.
• A second lawsuit is being filed against the Chicago Blackhawks involving former video coach Brad Aldrich:
A former HS hockey player who alleges he was sexually abused by a former Chicago Blackhawks coach is suing the franchise for allegedly providing a positive employment reference to the coach despite knowing he was a sexual predator.@rwesthead reports: https://t.co/3G0CXIFsPA pic.twitter.com/R7QM17xn4L
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 1, 2021
• The second lawsuit alleges that the Blackhawks provided positive employment references for the coach despite knowing he was a sexual predator. Which the team knew about because Aldrich was involved in alleged sexual abuse and harassment incidents involving a former NHL player on the 2009-10 team.
• All of this leads to a 2013 incident involving a then 16-year-old high school hockey player and Aldrich, who was an assistant coach with the high school at the time. You can find the full details in TSN Rick Westhead’s report above.
• If what is being alleged in these lawsuits is true, the Chicago Blackhawks need to face more than the monetary damages that the plaintiffs seek. The organization needs to face harsh, supplemental discipline from the league and those who were involved and had knowledge of these incidents need to be held accountable. No matter who they are. It’s all rotten.
• I’ll leave it at that for now. We’ll have more on these stories as news develops.
• Also happening today in Blackhawks news is the NHL Draft Lottery:
The NHL Draft Lottery Is Tonight – May the Balls Be Ever in the Blackhawks’ Favorhttps://t.co/fk5IURtVfz
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) June 2, 2021
• Tonight, we find out the fate of 15 teams in the NHL Draft Lottery and see which two the lottery balls favor. In previous years, the NHL Draft Lottery served as a way of seeing which team would “win” the lottery and get the consensus top-overall prospect, like a Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews. But this year’s draft class hasn’t had a Matthews or McDavid type of prospect at the top of the heap. The class doesn’t even have a Jack Hughes. The 2021 Draft Class is all over the board, given the COVID-19 Pandemic issues that caused most players to have altered, shortened, or even canceled seasons in the most important year for their development and draft stock.
• The Blackhawks enter tonight with the 12th-best odds at winning the top-overall pick in the draft. Although I wouldn’t hang my hat on that being the case.
NHL Draft Lottery is at 6pm CT tonight on NBCSN. Here are the Blackhawks' odds of ending up in each possible position:
(*Functionally one spot higher because of Coyotes forfeit.)
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) June 2, 2021
• On the other hand, the last time the Blackhawks held the 12th-best odds at winning the draft lottery, they ended up moving into the third-overall slot and drafting Kirby Dach. So, really, you never know.
• In international Blackhawks news, all nine Chicago players and prospects at the IIHF World Championships have qualified for the elimination playoff round. After an off day today, the quarter-finals begin tomorrow in Latvia, bright and early at 8:15 a.m. CT.
• Speaking of playoffs, the Stanley Cup Playoffs continued last night with just one game on the schedule. Game Two between the Hurricanes and Lightning saw another back and forth battle that could have gone either way. A second night in which the Hurricanes out-played the Lightning at times, but Tampa Bay was able to find a way to get the job done with another 2-1 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
THE BACKHAND SCORE.
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) June 2, 2021
• Carolina held the Lightning to just 15(!) shots on goal in Game Two, after out-shooting them 38-30 in Game One. Now the Hurricanes have to regroup from an 0-2 series deficit and head to Tampa to try to event he series on the road. I wish them all the luck.
• Second round action continues tonight with Game One between the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg, and Game Two between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights in Denver. The Avalanche hold a 1-0 series lead over Vegas.
• After seeing fans in the stands in Montreal and Toronto in Games Six and Seven in their opening round series, more fans will be allowed in the building in Canada as Winnipeg announced fully vaccinated healthcare workers will be in attendance for the opening of the Canadiens-Jets series.
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 1, 2021
• Great to see!
• In NHL Awards news, the Ted Lindsay Award for the NHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the regular season has its finalists.
The @NHLPA announces Sidney Crosby, Auston Matthews & Connor McDavid are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award — as voted by their peers.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 2, 2021
• The Ted Lindsay Award is different from the Hart Memorial Trophy because it is voted on by the NHL players themselves. Either way, the Lindsay and the Hart should be going to Connor McDavid without question.
• That will do it for today. Hope you all have a good Wednesday! Don’t forget, NHL Draft Lottery tonight at 6:00 p.m. CT on NBCSN.