RALEIGH, N.C. — Joel Quenneville’s tenure as Panthers coach ended Thursday, three days after an investigation found the former Blackhawks coach was involved in the cover-up of an alleged sexual assault in 2010.
Quenneville met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday in New York. Hours later, he finally resigned from his post with “deep regret and contrition,” he said in a statement.
In a now-infamous May 2010 meeting of Hawks leadership, Quenneville joined then-president John McDonough in lobbying against taking immediate action regarding former video coach Brad Aldrich for an alleged assault of former Hawks player Kyle Beach, ex-GM Stan Bowman told Jenner & Block investigators.
“I want to express my sorrow for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, has suffered,” Quenneville said in his statement. “My former team, the Blackhawks, failed Kyle, and I own my share of that. I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone.”
Andrew Brunette, a longtime NHL forward who retired in 2012 after spending his final season with the Hawks, will take over as Panthers interim coach, TSN reported.
Meanwhile, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff — a former Hawks assistant GM who also was found to have been in that 2010 cover-up meeting — moved up his scheduled meeting with Bettman to Friday, TSN reported.
Beach: Hawks trying to ‘destroy’ lawsuit
In a statement Thursday, Beach thanked the hockey community for its “outpouring of endless love and support” this week.
But Beach also said his “battle is really just beginning,” alleging the Hawks “continue to attempt to destroy my case in court.”
The Hawks did file a support to their motion to dismiss Beach’s lawsuit Tuesday. But they said Wednesday that was done only to meet an unfortunately timed court-mandated deadline and that they intend to settle the case, with initial talks scheduled with Beach’s lawyer next week.
The legal proceedings have been lengthy and convoluted all summer, so it might take weeks to determine each side’s true intentions.