Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned Thursday, days after he and others were named in an independent investigation into the Chicago Blackhawks’ mishandling of a 2010 sexual assault allegation.
Quenneville was head coach of the Blackhawks when a player said he was sexually assaulted by then-video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.
The investigation made public Tuesday , revealed that Blackhawks management was reluctant to take immediate action against Aldrich, as the team was in the middle of a playoff run which culminated with the club winning their Stanley Cup.
Quenneville, the second-winningest coach in NHL history, resigned from the Panthers after a meeting Thursday with the league commissioner, the Panthers and the league said.
“Joel took the decision to resign, and the Florida Panthers accepted it,” Matt Caldwell , the Panthers’ President and CEO, stated in a statement ..
Quenneville is the most recent person named in the report to leave their position.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman announced Tuesday that he was stepping aside, and NBC Chicago reported that Al MacIsaac, the team’s senior vice president of hockey operations, was relieved of his duties.
Quenneville in a statement to Toronto-based sports network TSN announced his resignation “with deep regret and contrition. “
” I am sorry for the loss Kyle Beach has experienced. My former team. Quenneville stated that the Blackhawks failed Kyle and that he was my former team. “I want reflect on all this and to learn how to ensure that hockey spaces are safe for all. “
Beach had been brought up from the minor leagues as a backup during the Blackhawk’s 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs when Aldrich allegedly sexually assaulted him, according to the report.
He reported the incident to the team but senior Blackhawks staff didn’t take any immediate action against Aldrich.
” No one should have to go through what Kyle Beach went through in Chicago and the years that followed. Caldwell stated that he was simply “failed”. We are proud of his courage and bravery in coming forward. “
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated Thursday that he admires Beach’s courage in coming forward and that he was “appalled” by how his initial claim was handled. In a tweet by the league, he apologized for “all he has suffered.”
Aldrich didn’t return messages from NBC News asking for comment on Thursday. His attorney also declined to comment. The report states that Aldrich denied having a sexual encounter with the player, but that it was consensual.
Quenneville joined the Panthers as head coach in 2019 after a 10-year tenure as head coach of the Blackhawks during which the team won three Stanley Cup championships. He was fired after the team failed to make the playoffs in 2018 and after a series of losses.
Andrew Brunette, an assistant coach, has been hired as Panthers interim coach, The Associated Press reported.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.