Joel Quenneville has resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers after an investigation into the Chicago Blackhawks‘ sexual abuse case revealed he had knowledge of the allegations when he was coach of the Blackhawks during the 2010 season.
An interim head coach announcement will be forthcoming, according to the team.
Former Blackhawks player Kyle Beach on Wednesday came forward as the “John Doe” who filed a lawsuit against the team for mishandling his sexual assault allegations. The suit led the Blackhawks to commission an investigation by the law firm Jenner & Block, which looked into allegations that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted and harassed Beach during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup run.
The investigation, of which the results were released Tuesday, revealed that Quenneville was aware of the situation and took part in at least one meeting regarding the allegations during the 2010 postseason. Quenneville had previously said he learned of the allegations in the summer of 2021 “through the media.”
According to recollections from former Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman in the investigation report, Quenneville, after learning of the Aldrich allegations, “shook his head and said that it was hard for the team to get to where they were [the playoffs] and they could not deal with this issue now.”
Bowman on Tuesday resigned after the investigation was made public. The team also was fined $2 million.
Quenneville met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for about two hours in New York earlier Thursday while accompanied by Panthers team president Matt Caldwell and general manager Bill Zito.
The Panthers are 7-0-0 under Quenneville, who said Wednesday that he addressed the case with his team and said he didn’t think it would be an issue because “I think we try to eliminate all distractions.” He went on to coach against the Bruins that night, not taking questions from the media afterward.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan contributed to this report.