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Hawks make front office changes, Bowman steps down


CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 6: Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman prepares to announce the seventeenth overall pick for the Chicago Blackhawks on the first day of the 2020 NHL Draft at Fifth Third Arena on October 6, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Blackhawks president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman has "stepped aside" from the organization and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac has been relieved of his duties following an investigation into the sexual assault allegations of the events that took place in 2010.

The news was announced on Tuesday in a virtual press briefing that included Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz and Jenner & Block lead investigator Reid Schar.

"We talk a lot about hockey culture. I believe one of the beautiful parts of our game is the focus on team success over individual achievements and accolades," Danny Wirtz said. "But that cannot come at the expense of individual safety and well-being.

"It is clear that in 2010, the executives of this organization put team performance above all else. John Doe deserved better from the Blackhawks. And while we believe we have a strong legal defense, I have instructed our lawyers to see if we can reach a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances. 

"The Blackhawks are a very different organization than we were in 2010. And I’m not talking about wins and losses. I am confident that this would not be tolerated in our organization today. We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected at our failures to promptly address these allegations as we became aware of them.

"As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to these individuals who suffered from the misconduct of our former employee. We must and will do better."

Bowman released a statement through the team shortly after the announcement:

"Since joining the Blackhawks in 2000, I have been extremely grateful for the opportunities presented to me and proud of our accomplishments. 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.   The team needs to focus on its future, and my continued participation would be a distraction. I think too much of this organization to let that happen.

Eleven years ago, while serving in my first year as general manager, I was made aware of potential inappropriate behavior by a then-video coach involving a player. I promptly reported the matter to the then-President and CEO who committed to handling the matter. I learned this year that the inappropriate behavior involved a serious allegation of sexual assault. I relied on the direction of my superior that he would take appropriate action. Looking back, now knowing he did not handle the matter promptly, I regret assuming he would do so.

I am confident that this organization and the Wirtz family will continue to do what it takes to win championships, with integrity and with the goal of doing what is right.

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 to have been part of this incredible organization, and to serve the best fans in hockey, in the greatest city in the world. I will always cherish my time with the Chicago Blackhawks. On behalf of myself and my family, thank you."

Kyle Davidson, who's currently the assistant general manager of hockey administration, will serve as the Blackhawks' general manager on an interim basis.

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