Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won't be disciplined for inaction in Chicago Blackhawks case

The NHL won't discipline Kevin Cheveldayoff, Winnipeg Jets general manger, for his handling of the Chicago Blackhawks' sexual assault allegations against Brad Aldrich, former video coach.
The league issued a statement on Friday after a meeting with Cheveldayoff, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. It stated that it had "concluded" that Cheveldayoff wasn't responsible for the Chicago Blackhawks' improper decisions in 2010 regarding Brad Aldrich. These decisions led to the Club's inept response to a report detailing serious, inappropriate conduct between Aldrich, Blackhawks' prospect Kyle Beach.

Cheveldayoff, the Blackhawks' assistant general manger in 2010, was present at a May 23rd meeting where Beach revealed Aldrich’s attack. The room also included Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks' general manager, Joel Quenneville as coach, John McDonough as team president, and Al MacIsaac, hockey operations executive, Jay Blunk, executive vice president, and Hockey Operations executive.

Beach, a former Blackhawks player, came forward Wednesday as "John Doe", the man who filed a lawsuit against them in May over mishandled allegations he made regarding Aldrich's conduct.

Jenner & Block LLP was hired by the Blackhawks to investigate the matter and find out how Chicago handled it at the time. Jenner & Block's findings were released Tuesday by the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, just as Bowman resigned from his position as Blackhawks president of hockey operations.

Cheveldayoff stated that he wasn't aware of the sexual assault in July and didn't learn about it until the close of his two-season stint with Chicago. Cheveldayoff was appointed Jets general manager in June 2011.

Cheveldayoff issued a second statement via the Jets' Public Relations department saying he had "shared all I know about the matter as part of Jenner & Block investigation."

Bettman met Cheveldayoff for the second time in two days with key players in the Blackhawks scandal. Quenneville was fired as coach of the Florida Panthers after the NHL commissioner met with him on Thursday.

In a statement after Quenneville's announcement, Bettman stated that "all parties" agreed that it was the right move and that Quenneville would not be subject to any further punishment. Bettman was more cautious when it came to Cheveldayoff.

Bettman stated that while it might be easier to portray everyone associated to this horrible matter on a certain level, I believe fundamental fairness requires a deeper analysis of each individual's role." "Kevin Cheveldayoff wasn't a Blackhawks senior leader team member in 2010. I can therefore not assign him responsibility for Club's actions or inactions. He gave a detailed account of his involvement in the matter. His participation was limited to one meeting. I found him very open and credible during our discussion.

Cheveldayoff had also denied knowing about Beach's allegations, but Quenneville maintained publicly that he was aware of Beach's situation "through the media."

Beach spoke with TSN Wednesday about Cheveldayoff, but he did not mention Cheveldayoff directly. However, he made it clear that Quenneville knew nothing about Aldrich and had attended the same meeting as Cheveldayoff.

All of this happened the night Chicago won Western Conference finals. The team advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final in 1992. Bowman said to investigators that Quenneville "shook his head" when he learned about Aldrich's actions towards Beach. He then stated that the team had struggled to get there and that they couldn't deal with this problem now.

Quenneville was the coach of the Panthers against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. With two years remaining on his contract and $15 million more, he resigned.

"I am sorry for the loss that Kyle Beach has endured. Quenneville, a former player on the Blackhawks, said that Kyle was failed by them and that he had suffered from similar losses. "I want reflect on all this and to take the time to learn how to ensure that hockey spaces are safe for everyone."

Aldrich, along with other Chicago players and staff, would win the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in 2010.

However, ESPN's Emily Kaplan reported that Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz sent Lanny MacDonald a letter asking for Aldrich to be removed from the Cup.