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Gary Bettman, Bill Daly address continued fallout from Blackhawks internal investigation

The NHL commissioner and deputy commissioner spoke publicly for the first time on Monday afternoon.

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Commissioner Gary Bettman Press Conference Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

For the first time since last week’s news, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke publicly during a press conference on Monday.

One of the early questions focused on former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who was behind Chicago’s bench in 2010 but was the Florida Panthers coach this season until last week’s events. After Tuesday’s revelation of the internal investigation launched by the Blackhawks, Quenneville was still behind the bench for Florida during a game on Wednesday night, a move that drew extensive criticism:

One new detail emerged on Monday, related to the knowledge of the lawsuits that entered the public domain this summer. According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, that was not the first time the Blackhawks organization — and the league — was familiar with them:

Bettman also pushed back on some external criticism against the league that the $2 million fine levied against the Blackhawks was not enough of a penalty:

One of the more interesting exchanges came in Bettman’s reply to a question from Blackhawks beat reporter Mark Lazerus of The Athletic:

As Lazerus noted on Twitter, he — along with the vast majority (and likely all) of the team’s current beat reporters — was not covering the team in 2010.

After some early dodging of TSN reporter Rick Westhead, who’s been one of the leading journalists covering this entire situation, Bettman answered a question from Westhead after one of the other reporters on the call requested that Westhead be granted the ability to ask one:

There was also the subject of former Blackhawks prospect Akim Aliu, who alleged that former Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters targeted him with racial language while the two were together in Rockford. While Daly claimed that they’ve completed their investigation and reached to Aliu’s representatives, TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported a dispute with Daly’s claim:

Here’s one more comment from Monday’s press conference: