Former Blackhawks player accuses coach of sexual assault

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CHICAGO - JUNE 28:  Chicago Blackhawks Logo, at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup Championship rally at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois on JUNE 28, 2013.  (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
A player from the 2010 championship team is suing the organization over an alleged sexual assault. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

An unnamed player from the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks is suing the organization, alleging that they, along with another unnamed teammate, were sexually assaulted by video coach Brad Aldrich prior to the team's championship victory. 

This story was first reported by Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold of WBEZ Chicago

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit in Cook Circuit Circuit Court last week, alleging that Aldrich watched pornography and masturbated in front of him and his teammate in May 2010. The player also stated he received "inappropriate text messages" and was threatened "physically, financially and emotionally" if he did not engage in sexual acts with the coach.

The player stated in the lawsuit that he went to Blackhawks mental skills coach, James F. Gary, after the alleged incident with Aldrich, but Gary allegedly told him he was the lone party at fault. Gary responded tersely when asked to comment by WBEZ Chicago and deferred comment back to the Blackhawks before hanging up. 

Susan Loggans, the lawyer for the plaintiff, said her client also reported the alleged incident to the National Hockey League Players’ Association, but the NHLPA refused to do anything. 

"This entire man’s life has been destroyed," Loggans said to WBEZ Chicago. "I mean, he was not able to function within the NHL context and… this has really ruined… his professional career. These professional athletes have to function at the top of their game at all times in order to be competitive, and these things are really debilitating."

Aldrich no longer works in hockey and is listed in state and federal databases for sexual offenders. He was convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual assault involving a student in 2013. WBEZ Chicago contacted Aldrich for comment and he hung up immediately. 

"When he learned that this person, in fact, had gone on to damage young people, he became really upset with the fact that potentially this had happened because the Blackhawk team had not responded to his advising them of what had happened,” Loggans said to WBEZ.

“He was really upset because he had believed that it was swept under the rug. He was told that it didn’t happen, that it must have been his fault, and that somehow he brought this on himself."

Blackhawks vice president of communications Adam Rogowin said the lawsuit "lacked merit" in a statement obtained by WBEZ Chicago.

"The Chicago Blackhawks take the allegations asserted by a former player very seriously. 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."

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