Joel Quenneville resigns as Florida Panthers coach in wake of Chicago Blackhawks’ sexual abuse case

Joel Quenneville resigned Thursday as head coach of the Florida Panthers following a gathering with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about his involvement within the Chicago Blackhawks‘ sexual abuse case.

Assistant coach Andrew Brunette will take over on an interim foundation, an NHL supply informed ESPN.

Quenneville was in his third yr as head coach of the Panthers, who’re off to a 7-0-0 begin. He resigns with two further years and greater than $15 million left on his contract.

Bettman mentioned in a press release that the NHL agrees with Quenneville’s resolution to resign.

“Following a gathering with Mr. Quenneville that happened this afternoon in my workplace, all events agreed that it was not applicable that he proceed to function Florida’s head coach,” Bettman mentioned. “We thank the Panthers’ group for working with us to make sure that a radical course of was adopted.

“Given the outcome, there isn’t any want for any additional motion by the NHL concerning Mr. Quenneville at the moment. Nonetheless, ought to he want to re-enter the League in some capability sooner or later, I’ll require a gathering with him prematurely in an effort to decide the suitable circumstances below which such new employment may happen.”

On Wednesday, Kyle Seashore got here ahead as “John Doe,” the previous Blackhawks participant who filed a lawsuit towards the crew for mishandling his sexual assault allegations in 2010. The go well with led the Blackhawks to fee an investigation by the legislation agency Jenner & Block, which regarded into the allegations that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted and harassed Seashore through the crew’s 2010 Stanley Cup run.

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The investigation, which was made public Tuesday, revealed that Quenneville was conscious of the scenario and took half in at the least one assembly concerning the allegations through the 2010 postseason. Quenneville had beforehand mentioned he solely discovered of the allegations in the summertime of 2021 “by means of the media.”

In an interview with TSN on Wednesday, Seashore mentioned there was no manner Quenneville was unaware of the allegations.

“I’ve witnessed conferences, proper after I reported it to [Blackhawks mental skills coach] James Gary, that had been held in Joel Quenneville’s workplace. There’s completely no manner that he can deny realizing it,” Seashore mentioned.

In accordance with recollections from former Blackhawks normal supervisor Stan Bowman within the investigation report, Quenneville, after studying of the Aldrich allegations, “shook his head and mentioned that it was exhausting for the crew to get to the place they had been [the playoffs] and so they couldn’t cope with this situation now.”

Quenneville coached the Panthers of their win towards Boston on Wednesday night time. Moderately than have the coach communicate to the media, normal supervisor Invoice Zito learn a press release saying Quenneville would haven’t any remark till he met with Bettman on Thursday. The assembly in New York included Quenneville, Zito, Panthers CEO Matthew Caldwell, Bettman and deputy commissioner Invoice Daly.

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“I wish to specific my sorrow for the ache this younger man, Kyle Seashore, has suffered. My former crew, the Blackhawks, failed Kyle and I personal my share of that,” Quenneville mentioned in a press release to TSN. “I wish to mirror on how all of this occurred and take the time to training myself on guaranteeing hockey areas are secure for everybody.”

Quenneville joins Bowman and Blackhawks senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac in stepping apart for his or her roles within the sexual abuse case. The Blackhawks had been additionally fined $2 million.

“After the discharge of the Jenner & Block investigative report on Tuesday afternoon, we have now continued to diligently assessment the knowledge inside that report, along with new info that has not too long ago develop into obtainable,” Caldwell mentioned. “It ought to go with out saying that the conduct described in that report is troubling and inexcusable. It stands in direct distinction to our values as a company and what the Florida Panthers stand for.

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“Nobody ought to ever should endure what Kyle Seashore skilled throughout, and lengthy after, his time in Chicago. Fairly merely, he was failed. We reward his bravery and braveness in coming ahead.”

Bettman echoed that within the NHL’s assertion.

“I love Kyle Seashore for his braveness in coming ahead, am appalled that he was so poorly supported upon making his preliminary declare and within the 11 years since, and am sorry for all he has endured,” Bettman mentioned.

Seashore wrote on Twitter earlier Thursday that he has “immense gratitude” for the assist he has seen over the previous two days however added that “my battle is basically simply starting because the Blackhawks proceed to aim to destroy my case in court docket.”

Quenneville has the second-most teaching wins in NHL historical past, with a report of 969-572-150 with 77 ties in 25 years with the Blackhawks, Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. He led the Blackhawks to 3 Stanley Cup championships, together with within the 2009-10 season when Kyle Seashore reported his sexual assault allegations to the Blackhawks.

Bettman is scheduled to fulfill with Winnipeg Jets normal supervisor Kevin Cheveldayoff on Friday. He was assistant normal supervisor with the Blackhawks in 2010 and likewise took half in a gathering in regards to the intercourse abuse case.

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