None of the other executives involved in the Hawks’ response in 2010 will be with the organization moving forward, Wirtz said. According to a source, Al MacIsaac also is out as senior vice president of hockey operations, and mental skills coach James F. Gary retired in June. Jay Blunk, who was executive vice president for nearly 14 years, left in August.
With Wirtz’s announcement that Bowman “has stepped aside,” the shepherd of the franchise’s rebuild has been removed just as the team has gotten off to a historically bad beginning to the 2021-22 season: an 0-5-1 record without having a single lead in 360 minutes and 57 seconds — an NHL record to start a season.
Kyle Davidson, vice president of hockey strategy and analytics, will take on the role of interim GM.
The Hawks hired Jenner & Block in late June to conduct an independent investigation, and the law firm said it interviewed 139 witnesses.
The review also alleges that Aldrich touched another Hawks employee, a “front office paid intern” who was 22 at the time.
On the evening of June 10, a day after the Hawks clinched the title against the Philadelphia Flyers, the employee and Aldrich shared a taxi after celebrating downtown, according to the report. “The employee recalled that Aldrich put his hand on the employee’s ‘crotch’ at the same time that he asked, in a suggestive manner, if the employee wanted to go upstairs,” the report said. “The employee told him, ‘No.’ ”
The report says Aldrich did not deny that an interaction with this employee occurred, but he did not recall propositioning or grabbing that person in a sexual manner.
The former Hawks player, “John Doe,” has an ongoing lawsuit against the Hawks alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but Danny Wirtz publicly apologized to him on behalf of the team and hinted that a swift resolution to the lawsuit might be possible.
“It is clear that in 2010 the executives of this organization put team performance above all else,” Wirtz said. “John Doe deserves better from the Blackhawks and while we believe we have a strong legal defense, I’ve instructed our lawyers to see if we can reach a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances.”
John Doe’s lawyer, Susan Loggans, said she’s open to negotiating with the Hawks but would like them first to withdraw their motion to dismiss John Doe’s lawsuit.