Hockey Hall to remove Aldrichs name from Cup at Blackhawks request

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The Hockey Hall of Fame is moving forward with a request from the Chicago Blackhawks to have Brad Aldrich’s name removed from the Stanley Cup.

Aldrich was the Blackhawks video coach during their 2009-10 championship season. During the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he is alleged to have sexually assaulted Kyle Beach, a 20-year-old forward prospect at the time who had been called up from Rockford of the American Hockey League.

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz made the request in a letter sent to Hall chairman Lanny McDonald on Friday.

“Aldrich’s involvement with the team during the 2010 season has cast a pall on the players’ extraordinary work that year,” Wirtz’s letter reads. “The names of some of hockey’s most talented athletes appear on the Stanley Cup. But so does the name ‘Brad Aldrich’ whose role as video coach made him eligible for the engraving. His conduct disqualified him, however, and it was a mistake to submit his name. We are sorry we allowed it to happen.

“I am humbly requesting that the Hockey Hall of Fame consider ‘x-ing’ out his name on the Stanley Cup. While nothing can undo what he did, leaving his name on the most prestigious trophy in sports seems profoundly wrong.”

Hours after the letter was made public, the Hall of Fame tweeted that chairman McDonald had discussed the Blackhawks’ request with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. 

“The parties agree this request is appropriate & will have further dialogue, incl w/ Cup trustees, on how best to effectuate this request,” the Hall said. 

Tweet from @KellyHockeyHall: ���HHOF Chair, Lanny McDonald spoke w/NHL Bettman & Daly today re: the request from the Blackhawks to have Aldrich���s name removed from the Cup. The parties agree this request is appropriate & will have further dialogue, incl w/ Cup trustees, on how best to effectuate this request.���

On Tuesday, Wirtz, Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz and Reid Schar, a former federal prosecutor and partner at Jenner & Block LLP, read the findings of the firm’s independent investigation into Beach’s claims, and announced that Stan Bowman, who was Chicago general manager in 2010, was stepping down.

According to the report, Beach alleged he was sexually assaulted by Aldrich on May 8 or 9, 2010. Beach said he told skating coach Paul Vincent about the incident when Chicago was in San Jose sometime between May 12-19 during the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. On May 23, an hour after Chicago advanced to the Cup Final, a meeting was held in which mental skills coach and team counselor Jim Gary informed six individuals then with Blackhawks senior management of what Beach told him about the encounter, according to the report.

[PDF: Blackhawks letter to Hockey Hall of Fame]

Former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff were the only individuals who allegedly attended the May 23, 2010, meeting still working in the NHL, after Bowman resigned and senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac was let go by Chicago on Tuesday. John McDonough was fired as president and CEO on April 27, 2020, and Gary and senior vice president Jay Blunk left the Blackhawks this offseason.

Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers on Thursday following a meeting with Commissioner Bettman. Cheveldayoff, the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, met with Bettman on Friday and will not be subject to discipline by the NHL in the matter. Quenneville and Cheveldayoff each denied knowing about Beach’s claims at the time of the complaint.

Aldrich left the Blackhawks after the 2009-10 season. In 2013 he was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a male student while working as a volunteer for the boys hockey team at Houghton High School in Houghton, Michigan.

Wirtz cited other examples of names being removed or misspelled on the Cup as precedent for requesting to have Aldrich’s name removed.

“Out of respect to each and every player who sacrificed to earn their place in history and on the Stanley Cup, our request is based on principle and our moral belief that a convicted sex offender does not belong on the Stanley Cup,” Wirtz wrote.

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