Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville resigns amid Blackhawks scandal

Joel Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers on Thursday, two days after the second-winningest coach in NHL historical past was amongst these implicated for not swiftly responding to allegations by a Chicago Blackhawks participant in 2010 of being sexually assaulted by one other coach.

The announcement was made shortly after Quenneville met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York to debate his function in what occurred in Chicago through the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, when a participant named Kyle Seaside mentioned he was sexually assaulted by then-Blackhawks assistant Brad Aldrich.

“Joel made the choice to resign and the Florida Panthers accepted that resignation,” Panthers President Matthew Caldwell mentioned.

Andrew Brunette — an assistant coach below Quenneville — was employed because the workforce’s interim coach, and is anticipated to make his debut when the unbeaten Panthers play at Detroit on Friday evening. Brunette has by no means been a head coach.

Quenneville resigned with about three years and $15 million remaining on his contract with the Panthers.

Florida Panthers v Philadelphia Flyers
Head Coach of the Florida Panthers Joel Quenneville watches a play on the ice in opposition to the Philadelphia Flyers on February 10, 2020, on the Wells Fargo Heart in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Len Redkoles / NHLI through Getty Photos

An investigation launched Tuesday mentioned Quenneville — who coached Chicago at the moment — and others within the Blackhawks group didn’t prioritize addressing Seaside’s allegations, presumably as a result of they didn’t need to take away from the workforce’s push towards a championship.

Quenneville has mentioned he was unaware of the allegations till this summer season, a stance he reiterated as not too long ago as Wednesday morning. Seaside, in an interview that aired Wednesday night on TSN, mentioned there was “completely no method” the then-Blackhawks coach might deny figuring out in regards to the allegations.

At 7-0-0, the Panthers are off to their greatest begin within the franchise’s 28-year historical past, wanting very very similar to the Stanley Cup contender that Quenneville was employed in 2019 to construct.

In the event that they get there, it’s going to be with out him now. Gamers on Wednesday insisted their focus was solely on the ice; a few of the workforce’s leaders like captain Aleksander Barkov and defenseman Aaron Ekblad even mentioned they didn’t know a lot in regards to the investigation or the large fallout from Tuesday’s report.

“It ought to go with out saying that the conduct described in that report is troubling and inexcusable,” Caldwell mentioned. “It stands in direct distinction to our values as a corporation and what the Florida Panthers stand for. Nobody ought to ever should endure what Kyle Seaside skilled throughout, and lengthy after, his time in Chicago.

“Fairly merely, he was failed. We reward his bravery and braveness in coming ahead.”

Quenneville is the second-winningest coach in NHL historical past, his 969 victories after Wednesday trailing solely the 1,244 amassed by Scotty Bowman — the daddy of now-former Blackhawks normal supervisor Stan Bowman, who resigned Tuesday when the investigation’s findings have been launched. Stan Bowman, like Quenneville, was among the many central figures recognized as having not acted correctly and swiftly to Seaside’s allegations.

The investigation decided that Quenneville was a part of a gathering about Seaside’s claims on Could 23, 2010, the identical day Chicago gained the Western Convention title and moved into the Stanley Cup remaining. Chicago gained the Cup that season, the primary of three titles the Blackhawks gained below Quenneville.

“Stan Bowman has quoted Joel Quenneville saying — and this isn’t a quote, that is my phrases — saying that the playoffs, the Stanley Cup playoffs and attempting to win a Stanley Cup was extra necessary than sexual assault,” Seaside informed TSN. “And I can not imagine that. As a human being, I can’t imagine that, and I can’t settle for that.”

Florida performs at Detroit on Friday, trying to turn out to be the fifth franchise — and seventh workforce — in NHL historical past to start a season with eight consecutive victories. The others which have carried out it: the 1934-35 and 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975-76 and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, the 2005-06 Nashville Predators and the 2015-16 Montreal Canadiens.

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