Bettman on Blackhawks' assault allegations: First reaction was 'Tell me the facts'

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says allegations that a former Chicago Blackhawks player was sexually assaulted by a then-assistant coach are concerning.

But he adds his first reaction to the news was: "Tell me the facts."

Speaking at his annual media availability prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Monday night, Bettman said the league learned "relatively recently" about the allegations.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL was informed by the Blackhawks' general counsel.

Chicago has hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent review of the allegations, which come after two lawsuits were filed against the club. The Athletic was first to report news of the independent review.

The first suit alleges sexual assault by former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich during the team's 2010 run that ended with a Stanley Cup victory, while the second was filed by a former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2021.

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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