Stan Bowman Resigns From Chicago Blackhawks, Team Fined $2M Amid Sex Assault Allegations

Stan Bowman, who has served as the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks for the last 12 years, resigned after the National Hockey League fined the team $2 million for the team's handling of sexual assault allegations.

On Tuesday, the Blackhawks announced that Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac would step down from their posts following the findings of an independent investigation related to allegations made against former video coach Brad Aldrich.

The investigation, conducted by the law firm of Jenner and Block and led by former federal prosecutor Reid Schar, stems from two lawsuits claiming that the Blackhawks grossly mishandled the alleged sexual assault of two players by Aldrich shortly before the 2010 Stanley Cup championship.

"Rocky and I appreciate Stan's dedication to the Blackhawks and his many years of work for the team," Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said on Tuesday. "However, we and he ultimately accept that—in his first year as general manager—he made a mistake, alongside our other senior executives at the time, and did not take adequate action."

Wirtz named Kyle Davidson, the former vice president of hockey strategy and analytics for the team, as the interim general manager while the team searches for a permanent replacement.

Under Bowman's tenure, the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015. The team also made the postseason in seven straight seasons.

The investigation found that instead of immediately reporting the incident, a group of Blackhawks executives, including Bowman and MacIssac, waited three weeks until after the playoffs—a violation of the organization's own policy on sexual harassment—"so as not to disturb team chemistry."

During the time in which the May 2010 incident went unreported, Aldrich continued his coaching duties and allegedly made a separate unwanted sexual advance on a 22-year-old intern during a June victory party.

Aldrich left the Blackhawks after that season.

Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman Resign
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has resigned in the wake of the team being fined for it handling of sexual assault allegations. Pictured, Bowman is interviewed during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Jonathan Daniel/Getty

On Tuesday, the NHL announced that it would fine the organization $2 million for its "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response" to the 2010 incident.

The league and the Blackhawks have decided that $1 million will go to organizations in Chicago that support victims of sexual and other forms of abuse.

"This organization, beginning with the Wirtz family, has been extraordinarily good to my family and to me. That is why today, after discussions with Rocky and Danny, I have decided to step aside," Bowman said in a Tuesday statement. "The team needs to focus on its future, and my continued participation would be a distraction."

"I am deeply grateful to the Blackhawks for the chance to manage the team; to the players for their dedication, and to the fans for their tremendous support over the years. It has been an honor," he added.

In a statement released following the release of the investigation, the player referred to as John Doe in the case thanked the organization for taking accountability in its mishandling of the alleged assault.

"Although nothing can truly change the detriment to my life over the past decade because of the actions of one man inside the Blackhawks organization, I am very grateful to have the truth be recognized, and I look forward to continuing the long journey to recovery," he said through his attorney Susan E. Loggans.

In a letter to fans, the Blackhawks acknowledged that "the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling those disturbing incidents."

"What we do off the ice is equally as important as anything we do on it," the letter read.

"Our ownership and leadership teams are committed to ensuring that the Blackhawks adhere to the highest ethical, professional, and athletic standards," it continued. "We will not tolerate behavior that is antithetical to our values from any member of the organization, nor will we accept the type of inaction that allows such issues to continue unchecked."

Earlier this year, Bowman was named the general manager of the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team for Beijing's Winter Games in 2022. There have not been any updates as to whether his post has changed since his resignation from the Blackhawks.