Rocky Wirtz, Chicago Blackhawks owner, wrote to the Hockey Hall of Fame asking that Brad Aldrich's name be removed from the Stanley Cup.
ESPN obtained Wirtz's letter. Wirtz asked the Hall to "consider exonerating" Aldrich because "while no one can undo his actions, it seems wrong to leave his name on the most prestigious trophy of sports."
Wirtz asked that the Blackhawks remove the name "out of respect for each and every player that sacrificed to earn their spot in history", as it is the franchise’s "moral belief that a convicted sexual offender does not belong to the Stanley Cup."
According to an investigation report by the team, Aldrich sexually assaulted Kyle Beach, a former player, while he was on the team's 2010 run to the Stanley Cup. The investigation into the mishandling of this case found that Blackhawks senior leaders did not act immediately upon learning of the allegations. Aldrich was allowed to resign rather than participating in an investigation.
Aldrich was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sex conduct with a 16-year old three years later in Michigan.
Already, the scandal has caused a lot of damage. Stan Bowman, Blackhawks president of hockey operations and GM, resigned while Joel Quenneville, Chicago's 2010 coach, resigned as the head coach of Florida Panthers.
Wirtz wrote that names have been engraved, then changed over the years in the letter addressed to Lanny McDonald, chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Aldrich's unforgivable conduct should be condemned and his name removed from the Cup.
Wirtz refers to a precedent in removing names from Stanley Cups stemming out of a case involving Peter Pocklington, former Edmonton Oilers owner.
Wirtz wrote that the name "Basil Pocklington" is on the 1983-84 Stanley Cup. As you know, the owner of the Oilers put his father's name on the trophy list. This despite the fact that his father was not involved in the team's success. The NHL required that the name be markedly X'd out. This decision is among many that reflect the Cup's long history of engraving errors and mistakes that have been enshrined or corrected after the fact.