The Chicago Blackhawks are currently facing two sexual assault lawsuits, stemming from separate incidents involving former video coach Brad Aldrich. The first from incidents in 2010 involving Aldrich and two former Blackhawks players. The second stemming from a sexual assault case involving Aldrich and a former Michigan high school student at the school where Aldrich was an assistant coach (in 2013).
On Friday, the Blackhawks filed a motion to have the lawsuit from the 2013 incidents in Michigan dismissed, according to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times.
New: The Blackhawks filed today a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Michigan high school student whom Bradley Aldrich sexually assaulted in 2013.
There are now motions to dismiss pending in both lawsuits.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 9, 2021
This is a common legal practice in most cases and the second time the Blackhawks have filed a motion to have either of the lawsuits against them dismissed. The Blackhawks filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit involving the two former players from the 2010 incidents on the grounds that the players did not file the reports within the statute of limitations.
The motion also argues the assaulted student provides no evidence of the Blackhawks providing Aldrich a "positive reference" to his high school specifically, only to "future employers" in general.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 9, 2021
Also being reported on Friday afternoon, from TSN’s Rick Westhead, that the player(s) involved in the lawsuit stemming from the 2010 incidents will not cooperate with a “team-financed” investigation.
The lawyer for a former Chicago Blackhawks player who has alleged he was sexually assaulted by a former team video coach says the player will not cooperate with a team-financed investigation.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 9, 2021
According to the report, Susan Loggans, the lawyer representing the unnamed players in the lawsuit, says her clients will not take part in “window dressing” investigation.
From Westhead’s report:
“The Blackhawks have been lying all along, denying in court documents that this sexual misconduct even took place, so why would we have any faith now in an investigation that has been paid for by the Blackhawks?” attorney Susan Loggans told TSN in an interview on Friday. “Also, there is no assurance from anyone, not at the Blackhawks and not at the NHL, that the results of the team’s investigation will be made public.
“Why would we bother to participate in an investigation that may ultimately be buried and hidden from public view?”
The Blackhawks hired an outside firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations against the team and against former video coach Brad Aldrich. Loggans had originally agreed to allow her client to participate in the investigation led by Chicago Law Firm Jenner & Block, as long as she was able to interview Blackhawks front office members Stan Bowman, Al MacIsaac, James Gary, and former Team President John McDonough. That request was denied, and so Loggans pulled her client from participating.
Honestly, why would the former players want to cooperate with the Blackhawks-led investigation and review of the allegations? They never had their back or best interests back in 2010, why would they work with them now?
Adding another note according to Westhead, the advocacy group “Army of Survivors,” which was formed by the Larry Nassar abuse survivors, has called upon the U.S. Olympic Committee to suspend Stan Bowman from being the General Manager of Team USA’s 2022 Men’s Olympic Hockey team unless/until they investigate and clear him of these current allegations against him and the Blackhawks.
All of this coming on the same day as new reports from WBEZ News that Miami University in Ohio confirmed two sexual assault claims against Aldrich in his short time at the school following his time with the Blackhawks.
A university in Ohio is for the first time publicly confirming there were two sexual assault claims involving former Chicago Blackhawks Coach Bradley Aldrich during his five-month stint there after leaving Illinoishttps://t.co/CMdeRlN6Fn
— Tony Arnold (@tonyjarnold) July 9, 2021
With the NHL offseason just now officially underway, it’s a banner time for the Blackhawks organization. The more time passes, the worse the story continue to get for the franchise and the worse the current regime leading the team looks. Yes, all the details need to come out and everything in the legal process must play out. But I’m a believer in “where there is smoke, there is fire.”