Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford steps away from team amid investigation of alleged misconduct

Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford is the latest NHL coach to face allegations of misconduct and abuse in the workplace, and now he's been removed from the team while the organization investigates.  

The Blackhawks announced Monday that Crawford would be away from the club while a "thorough investigation" looks into recent claims that the coach physically abused at least two former players. 

In a story published by the New York Post last week, former NHLer Sean Avery alleged that Crawford kicked him during a game in the 2006-07 season. Avery played under Crawford, who was head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, at the time. 

"He kicked me after a too many men on the ice call I took," Avery said, via the Post. "He didn't have me serve it, we got scored on, and he let me have it. ... You know how I stand at the end of the bench? He came down and gave me a kick [in the behind] that left a mark."

After Avery came forward with his story and the Blackhawks announced an investigation into Crawford's behavior, former NHLer Patrick O'Sullivan took to Twitter to share his similar experiences with the coach. O'Sullivan alleges that Crawford also used "homophobic slurs" regularly. O'Sullivan entered the league with the Kings in 2006-07. 

This is not the first time former NHLers have accused Crawford of misconduct. Brent Sopel told the Spittin' Chiclets podcast last year that Crawford kicked and choked him while he played under the coach in Ottawa.

The controversy around Crawford comes as the NHL is seeing a reckoning of sorts against the problematic behavior of coaches around the league. Shortly after the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock -- considered to be one of the league's most respected coaches -- stories of Babcock's verbal abuse and questionable psychological warfare against his own players started to surface, one of which Babcock himself confirmed and apologized for. 

Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters also resigned last week after confirming a former player's allegations that the coach used racial slurs in the team's locker room. Peters was also accused of physically abusing former players during his time as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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