The Panthers and the Jets face the same decision
If one thing has become very clear about the management and coaching staff of the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks, it is that winning, and perhaps more importantly, opening up a source of income for the championship was more important than being decent.
Now, two other NHL offices must give equal priority to the fallout from the explosive and heartbreaking announcement delivered Tuesday by law firm Jenner & Block.
After previously denying any knowledge of the incident involving disgraced former video coach and disgraced criminal Bradley Aldrich, the independent investigation into the case revealed that Joel Quenneville, the current Florida Panthers head coach, and Kevin Cheveldayoff, now Winnipeg Jets general manager, were well aware of the allegations at the time.
They were among seven members of the hockey operations team involved in a meeting to discuss the incident and next steps in the days following the alleged sexual assault.
In Quenneville’s case, he was among those who have openly stated how the incident and the escalation of the case could affect the team’s chances in the 2010 playoffs.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he plans to meet with Quenneville and Cheveldayoff about the report’s findings and their role in the organization’s mismanagement of the incident, but that shouldn’t even be okay. as far.
Because if the Panthers and Jets continue to support these hockey men, they are making the exact same decision Chicago made over 11 years ago – that winning trumps morality.
It looks like the Panthers are leaning that way, or at least waiting for Quenneville to meet the NHL after Wednesday’s game against Boston, to make a decision.
Florida is in an eerily similar position to Chicago. No, the Panthers aren’t set to win a championship after six games of the season, but they’re starting on track to their best season at 6-0.
Are they ready to disrupt this?
Or will they, like the Blackhawks, turn the other cheek in the interest of winning?
Where was the management?
Among the many disturbing details of the investigation into Aldrich and the incident involving a former NHL player – who in the report went by the pseudonym John Doe – were the role of the players and, more specifically, how the teammates of Doe refused to support their colleague.
Too often we idealize the idea of ââthe hockey teammate. We rhetorically ask, what other athletes would drop down to a lightning slap shot to maintain a one-goal lead, or risk their teeth, or trade punches with a bigger, stronger opponent in someone’s name? one at the end of their bench. ?
Hockey players would do anything for each other, at least we were led to believe.
And yet one of the greatest teams put together, led by one of the most famous captains of the modern era, wouldn’t listen, show compassion, or support one of their own. Instead, the neglect of John Doe makes him the butt of jokes, and he was bullied within the NHLPA fraternity until the end of his playing days.
Former President John McDonough made the decision not to report the incident in a timely manner. Stan Bowman, Al MacIsaac, Cheveldayoff and Quenneville allowed this to happen and in some cases may have advocated it. But let’s not be twisted: Regardless of the rankings and placement on the channel, each of these players was also aware of the incident and could have stepped in and done what was needed.
Except Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa didn’t.
The rotten stench around the legacy of this organization and dynasty from the early 2010s will last forever.
These players should not be able to escape it either.
The Wirtz family took appropriate action after the results were released, announcing that no member of management from that time would work in the organization in the future. There is always reason to be irritated by the way Bowman in particular was shown the door.
It may be that Bowman took his boss at his word and believed McDonough would make the right decision in handling Aldrich’s situation. We all respond to superiors. But at some point, ideally long before the sexual assailant had reveled in a Stanley Cup celebration in the presence of his victim, it was worth knowing.
Allowing him the dignity of “stepping down” and thanking him for his many years at the helm and for the integrity and professionalism he displayed throughout the investigative process, they aimed to make Bowman a likeable figure. .
USA Hockey later did something similar by announcing that Bowman would not be leading the US Olympic team in Beijing.
At some point, you have to stop softening the blow.
Bowman lost his job because he deserved to lose his job.
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