A recent lawsuit filed by a former Blackhawks player describes an alleged 2010 sexual assault by a former Hawks assistant coach.
The lawsuit, filed April 30 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that the former assistant, Bradley Aldrich, assaulted the player — identified only as “John Doe” — in May 2010, during the team’s Stanley Cup run. The lawsuit also alleges Aldrich had previously assaulted a different Hawks player.
Aldrich “sent…inappropriate text messages,” “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of [Doe]…without his consent” and “threatened to injure [Doe]…physically, financially, and emotionally if [Doe]…did not engage in sexual activity,” according to the lawsuit.
The player allegedly reported Aldrich’s assault to Hawks mental skills coach James Gary, according to the lawsuit, but Gary “did nothing” and instead “convinced [Doe]…that the sexual assault was his fault, that he was culpable for what happened, made mistakes during his encounter with the perpetrator and permitted the sexual assault to occur.”
The lawsuit — filed by lawyer Susan Loggans — seeks $150,000 in damages from the Hawks, alleging the player continues to suffer from the trauma of the incident.
The Hawks did not respond to a Sun-Times request but for comment, but in a statement to WBEZ said that an internal investigation determined the organization committed no wrongdoing.
“The Chicago Blackhawks take the allegations asserted by a former player very seriously,” the team told WBEZ. “Based on our investigation, we believe the allegations against the organization lack merit and we are confident the team will be absolved of any wrongdoing. As this is a pending litigation matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”
Aldrich worked as a Hawks video coach, under then-head coach Joel Quenneville, from 2008 until sometime between 2010 and 2013. He also worked for the U.S. national men’s hockey team during the 2010 Winter Olympics and for the University of Notre Dame prior to joining the Hawks.
Aldrich pled guilty in December 2013 — and was sentenced in February 2014 to nine months in prison and five years probation — for an unrelated criminal sexual contact incident in Houghton, Michigan. Aldrich had been volunteering with the Houghton High School hockey team when he had sexual contact with a 16-to-18-year-old student.
The former Hawks player’s memories of the alleged 2010 sexual assault were triggered, according to the lawsuit, when he learned about Aldrich’s Michigan case in July 2019, shortly after Aldrich’s five-year probation ended.
The player had previously believed Gary, the mental skills coach, that the incident he experienced was not actually sexual assault, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit claims the statute of limitations therefore did not start running until 2019.
Aldrich has not been criminally charged in regards to the alleged Blackhawks incident.
The Hawks’ 2021 season ended Monday.