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Lightning Round: Stan Bowman out as Chicago GM as investigation findings released

All executives who worked for the Chicago hockey team in 2010 are out of the organization after an internal investigation into the sexual assault cover-up of video coach Brad Aldridge. The findings were shared by the owners of the team (the Wirtz family) while NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman subjected the team to only a $2 million fine. Kyle Davidson, who joined the team sometime in 2010 as an intern is now the team’s GM.

There are many layers to this story, including former Chicago executives littered around the NHL also becoming subject to the attention of Bettman. They include Kevin Cheveldayoff in Winnipeg and Joel Quenneville in Florida. The investigation found both men knew about the sexual assault at the time and did nothing to stop it despite their recent statements to the contrary.  Bettman will be deciding on their futures in the league soon.

Blackhawks president and GM Stan Bowman ‘steps aside’ after team announces investigation findings
Blackhawks’ championship legacy blighted by failures of men who should’ve done better

“The Blackhawks chose to keep the allegations quiet, to let Aldrich finish out the season, to have his name etched into the Stanley Cup, to quietly let him go in the offseason, to “participate in celebrations in the presence of John Doe,” to let him have his day with the Cup, to allow him to pursue other opportunities. Three years later, Aldrich pleaded guilty to criminal sexual misconduct with a minor in Houghton, Mich., where he was a volunteer assistant coach. In a lawsuit still working its way through the legal system, the victim — John Doe 2 — lays the blame for that assault at the Blackhawks’ doorstep.” [The Athletic]

Second City Hockey has all the links to the story, but I’ll be sharing a couple other outlets as well. Unless this is the first time you’re reading our blog, you’ll be well aware that the vast majority of reporting on this story was done by TSN’s Rick Westhead and The Athletic’s Katie Strang, the only two investigative journalists in the league. The Chicago media has also largely done a good job with the story when it comes to asking questions and posing updates.

Bowman, who is now out as Chicago GM, was also fired as Team USA’s GM for the Winter Olympics. Bowman, who had the audacity to put two of his players (Seth Jones and Patrick Kane) among the first three players listed for Team USA and spent much of the summer making big splashy moves to mask the scandal around him, has now left Team USA with a decision to make on keeping Jones on the roster or not.

Seth Jones is not part of any scandal in the league or anything, but he’s been really really bad on the ice and is certainly not among America’s top seven or eight defensemen. Alas, the team might be stuck with him on the roster and be forced to make do.

For the record, my USA defense looks like this: Adam Fox, John Carlson, Quinn Hughes, Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, Jaccob Slavin, Jacob Trouba, Ryan McDonagh. Mix and match however you’d like, but that’s a dynamite group with little in the ways of overt weaknesses.

Okay, that was a lot.

Let’s take a breath and hopefully we can move on from this story and all of its garbage.

In more positive news, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 last night! They scored the first goal of the game for the first time this season, and then they added two more within a span of 10 seconds. [Raw Charge]

“Playing in the second half of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights it would be understandable if the Tampa Bay Lightning looked a little listless against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Instead they came out pretty intense carried much of the action in a 5-1 victory. Backed by a 28-save performance by Andrei Vasilevskiy and a three-goal outburst in the second period, the Lightning picked up their first regulation win of the season. Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat, Ryan McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev (empty net), and Alex Killorn (empty net) provided the offense.”

Here is Bryan Burns with his Three Things, including quotes from Coach Cooper and Ryan McDonagh. [NHL dot com]

“There’s a lot of talk about back-to-backs and how hard they are, and sometimes back-to-backs are needed,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said following the convincing victory. “And we needed a game right after last night. Had a good feeling the guys were going to respond, and they surely did.”

The Orlando Solar Bears are back and so is Tracey with your weekly recap on what was a good first impression for the new team. [Raw Charge]

“Bird will be joining the Crunch for his second AHL stint, having appeared in 5 games in the 2019-20 season, picking up two assists. Langan has 9 games of AHL experience, all with San Jose in 2019-20, with one assist. They didn’t waste time making an impact, as both had assists on Jaydon Dureau’s first pro goal in Syracuse’s 5-3 loss in Rochester on Friday night.”

I had to share this incredibly level-headed article with the most outrageous headline from my boss at PPP. “Are the Maple Leafs a total disaster?” [Pension Plan Puppets]

“6. What if this doesn’t get better, though?
Wrong question. The right question is: What if it doesn’t get better fast enough?”

And finally, 3v3 hockey in a mall in Egypt! Super cool.