There hasn’t been much communication coming from the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office since the team was named in multiple lawsuits with sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich.
Now, it appears that the organization will be going public with the results of an internal investigation that was announced last month.
According to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, an internal memo from Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz made the pledge to release the findings of that investigation to the public once that investigation is completed.
Lazerus laid out the comments from Wirtz in a Twitter thread on Monday morning:
In an internal memo, Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz says the Blackhawks will "share results (of the Jenner & Block internal review) with you, our partners and our fans and will promptly implement changes to address the findings and shortcomings of our organization."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) August 2, 2021
Danny Wirtz: "I can assure you that we are using this process to engage in the self-reflection necessary to better our organization and ensure that our workplace is safe and inclusive. And while we await the results, we will continue a process of self evaluation."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) August 2, 2021
This announcement is an important step in the process, as explained by TSN reporter Rick Westhead, who’s been one of the journalists most heavily involved in reporting on this story since it emerged in mid-May:
Several key witnesses, including former Blackhawks coach Paul Vincent and former player Brent Sopel, had refused to cooperate with Jenner & Block unless the law firm promised to make its investigation findings public.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) August 2, 2021
Perhaps their threat, combined with public pressure, worked.
Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks president of hockey operations and general manager, is scheduled to speak with the media on Monday afternoon in his first public comments since free agency opened last week, with much of the discussion likely focused on the news regarding Marc-Andre Fleury’s recent confirmation that he’ll be playing in Chicago next season. Bowman also met with the media just before the NHL Draft, saying that he’d be cooperating with the investigation but, at that time, there was no commitment to releasing the results of the investigation to the public:
Stan Bowman's opening remarks in his pre-draft press conference:— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 22, 2021
"I’m going to start by saying that the Blackhawks organization takes these allegations very seriously. It’s important for me to say off the top that I do not condone or tolerate harassment or assault of any type."
Stan Bowman's opening remarks continued:— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 22, 2021
"I’m eager to speak about this in more detail in the future, but for now I have to respect the pending litigation and independent review that’s underway. I’m not going to be able to make any comments on that at this time."
Plenty of questions remain and many more are likely to emerge as the process plays out. But, for the first time since this all started, it appears that we may actually get some answers to what happened back in 2010.