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Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal: NHL says Kevin Cheveldayoff will not be disciplined

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Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal: NHL says Kevin Cheveldayoff will not be disciplined

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WINNIPEG –

The National Hockey League said on Friday that Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was not responsible for improper decisions made by the Chicago Blackhawks and will not be subject to disciplinary action as a result of the sexual assault investigation involving a former assistant coach.

The news comes after a meeting between Cheveldayoff and Commissioner Gary Bettman.

“Although at some level it would be easier to paint everyone with an association to this terrible affair with the same broad brush, I think fundamental fairness requires a deeper analysis of each person’s role,” Bettman said in a press release. “Kevin Cheveldayoff was not a member of the Blackhawks’ management team in 2010, so I cannot hold him responsible for the actions or inactions of the Club. He reported on his degree of involvement in the matter, which was limited exclusively to his attendance at one meeting, and I found him to be extremely open and credible in our discussion.

An investigative report released on Tuesday found that the Blackhawks had mishandled allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player during the 2010 season.

The Blackhawks hired Jenner & Block to conduct what they called an independent review in response to two lawsuits filed against the franchise: one by player Kyle Beach alleging sexual assault by then-assistant coach Brad Aldrich in 2010 and another by a former student that Aldrich was convicted of assault in Michigan.

Cheveldayoff was with the team at that time as deputy general manager.

The Blackhawks have been fined $ 2 million by the NHL. General manager and president of hockey operations Stan Bowman has resigned from his post.

Joel Quenneville, the 2008-2019 Blackhawks head coach, met Bettman Thursday afternoon and resigned as head coach of the Florida Panthers shortly thereafter.

In a statement posted to the NHL’s website, the league said Cheveldayoff’s attendance at a May 23, 2010 meeting involving senior Blackhawks leadership was limited in scope and substance.

“In fact, during the investigation, most of the participants at the May 23 meeting did not initially recall that Cheveldayoff was even present,” the NHL statement said.

The NHL added that as an assistant general manager at the time, Cheveldayoff was the lowest ranked club official and was learning the subject for the first time in the presence of his then boss Bowman. then CEO John McDonough, then Quenneville head coach.

“He had limited knowledge of the personnel involved; and he was basically an observer of the discussion of possible next steps, which apparently ended with Cheveldayoff believing the matter was going to be investigated, ”the NHL said.

The league also noted that Cheveldayoff’s role with the Blackhawks at the time left him without the authority to make the appropriate organizational decisions regarding the incident, and he did not have enough information to assess whether the matter was being treated adequately by the Blackhawks.

“In short, Cheveldayoff was not involved in the formulation or execution of the Club’s response.”

CHEVELDAYOFF STATEMENT

Cheveldayoff released a statement on Friday in response to the NHL findings, saying he wanted to express his support and empathy for Kyle Beach and everything he has had to endure since 2010.

“He was incredibly brave to come forward to tell his story. We can all use his courage as an inspiration to do a better job of making hockey a safer place for all who want to play the sport, ”the statement said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the NHL for the opportunity to meet Bettman and share his memories of the events when he was assistant general manager of the Blackhawks in 2010.

– With files from CTV’s Joey Slattery and Devon McKendrick

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