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Blackhawks to reinstate assistant coach Marc Crawford in 2020 after investigation

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Crawford apologizes for “unacceptable behavior” and will remain in counseling moving forward.

NHL: FEB 21 Senators at Blackhawks Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford will remain suspended from team activities until Jan. 2, 2020, following an investigation into past physical abuse allegations by former NHL players. He will resume his duties once his one month suspension is complete.

The Blackhawks said in a statement Monday they do not condone his previous behavior and conducted a thorough review of Crawford including discussions with former players, colleagues and management that worked with him.

“Through our review, we confirmed that Marc proactively sought professional counseling to work to improve and become a better communicator, person and coach,” the team said. “We learned that Marc began counseling in 2010 and he has continued therapy on a regular basis since. We believe that Marc has learned from his past actions and has committed to striving to reform himself and evolve personally and professionally over the last decade.”

The Blackhawks added they found no such incidents occurred with Crawford since he joined the team June 4. The team’s statement did not provide comments from any team official, including team president and chief executive officer John McDonough or senior vice president/general manager Stan Bowman.

Crawford acknowledged his previous conduct in a joint statement along with the allegations from Sean Avery, Harold Druken, Patrick O’Sullivan and Brent Sopel.

“I am deeply sorry for hurting them,” Crawford said. “I offer my sincere apologies for my past behavior.

“I got into coaching to help people, and to think that my actions in any way caused harm to even one player fills me with tremendous regret and disappointment in myself. I used unacceptable language and conduct toward players in hopes of motivating them, and, sometimes went too far. As I deeply regret this behavior, I have worked hard over the last decade to improve both myself and my coaching style.”

Crawford said he hopes to be “part of the solution” moving forward for the league, and that he wants to try to help the Blackhawks and the NHL to “make our game better for everyone.”