The NHL has announced that current Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff wasn't responsible for decisions made by the Chicago Blackhawks related to the sexual abuse case involving former video coach Brad Aldrich. Cheveldayoff served as the Chicago's assistant general manager when former Blackhawks player Kyle Beach was sexually assaulted by Aldrich in 2010.
"While on some level, it would be easiest to paint everyone with any association to this terrible matter with the same broad brush, I believe that fundamental fairness requires a more in-depth analysis of the role of each person," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Kevin Cheveldayoff was not a member of the Blackhawks senior leadership team in 2010, and I cannot, therefore, assign to him responsibility for the Club's actions, or inactions.
"He provided a full account of his degree of involvement in the matter, which was limited exclusively to his attendance at a single meeting, and I found him to be extremely forthcoming and credible in our discussion."
The Blackhawks released the findings of an independent investigation in which it was revealed that Beach was sexually assaulted by Aldrich in May 2010. When the sexual abuse allegations were brought to the team's attention 11 years ago, a meeting was held amongst members of the front office, which included the likes of Cheveldayoff, former general manager Stan Bowman and former head coach Joel Quenneville.
On Tuesday, Bowman stepped down from his post as the team's general manager after failing to act to the sexual abuse allegations. In addition, Quenneville, who was the Blackhawks head coach in 2010, resigned from his position as the head coach of the Florida Panthers.
According to the NHL's investigation, many of the participants of that meeting didn't recall that Cheveldayoff was present. Back in 2010, Cheveldayoff reported to Bowman and was the lowest ranking team official that was involved in the process.
"Cheveldayoff's role within the Blackhawks' organization at the time not only left him without authority to make appropriate organizational decisions relating to this matter, but as importantly, he was not thereafter even in a position to have sufficient information to assess whether or not the matter was being adequately addressed by the Blackhawks." the league said in a press release.