Report: Blackhawks Plan To Make Independent Review Findings Public

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Report: Blackhawks Plan To Make Independent Review Findings Public

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s a small start, but it’s a good start nonetheless for the Chicago Blackhawks organization regarding the “independent review” being done by the law firm of Jenner and Block on the team’s handling of the 2010 incidents and allegations involving former players and former video coach Brad Aldrich. On Monday morning, according to an internal memo, the Blackhawks intend to make the findings of the Jenner and Block review public.

More from The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus regarding the Blackhawks’ announcement…

Susan Loggans, the plaintiff’s attorney for two lawsuits against the Blackhawks from the 2010 incidents and a 2013 sexual assault case involving a Michigan high school student, said in June that she was not certain the investigation is truly “independent.” Loggans criticized the team’s unwillingness not to publicly release the investigation’s findings.

There has been increasing public pressure on the Blackhawks and the NHL regarding all of the incidents stemming from the 2010 alleged sexual abuse and harassment of two former Blackhawks players by former video coach Brad Aldrich. In recent weeks, the “will they or won’t they” regarding the team making the findings of the independent review public had turned the pressure up even higher on the club. Key witnesses in the lawsuit regarding the alleged 2010 incidents like former skills coach Paul Vincent and former defenseman Brent Sopel had said they would not cooperate with the investigations unless the findings were made public.

The words from Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz in the internal memo, that the team “will promptly implement changes to address the findings and shortcomings of our organization,” gives me some hope things can be made right following the investigation. I’m not sold that changes will actually be made. But if the findings are being made public, that opens the club to immense pressure and ridicule from Blackhawks fans, NHL fans, and team sponsors if they do not follow their word.

We’ll have to see what the Jenner and Block review actually finds. Making those findings public is a good move, and the right move. The NHL should also conduct their own public investigation into the team as well, if you ask me.

We’ll keep up with more developments in this story as it continues this summer.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.