The Chicago Blackhawks have come under fire again.
A former hockey player filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging the team’s former video coach sexually assaulted him during the team’s Stanley Cup run during the 2009-10 season.
The former player alleged the Blackhawks responded inadequately to his complaint because the team did not want a disruption during the team’s championship run.
Romanucci & Blandin law firm filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of "John Doe" in Cook County Circuit Court, The Chicago Tribune reported. The former player was a member of the Blackhawks’ "Black Aces" squad, which was made up of minor leaguers who traveled with the NHL team during the playoffs to fill-in in case of injuries to the main squad.
The team released a statement to the Tribune but did not comment on the specifics of the latest lawsuit.
"We’ve changed as a result of what happened and implemented numerous positive improvements throughout our organization to ensure the safety and well-being of our players and employees," the team said.
"This includes completely rebuilding the leadership team with personnel who demonstrate our values and bring the right subject matter expertise in the critical areas of compliance and human resources, an expansive mental health program, and new reporting mechanisms and training for all employees."
Attorney Antonio Romanucci told the newspaper that the lawsuit seeks to ensure teams are held accountable.
"We have a specific mission in mind, certainly that the Blackhawks remain accountable for the changes that they have promised that they have put in place with regard to prevention of these sexual abuses," he said. "But we also want to make sure that all teams around the country are on notice that this is not acceptable behavior.
"Putting winning before the mental health or even physical health of players, that’s over. Hard stop."
The lawsuit alleged former video coach Brad Aldrich invited "Black Aces" players to his home under the guise of discussing hockey strategy. However, Aldrich allegedly attempted to make the players watch pornographic movies and is accused of offering to perform oral sex on "John Doe."
Aldrich allegedly used threats to dissuade the player from reporting his conduct.
The lawsuit filed raised similar allegations against Aldrich and accused the Blackhawks of showing "utter indifference and/or conscious disregard for the safety of its employees, including John Doe."
In 2021, the player’s "Black Aces" teammate Kyle Beach reached a settlement with the team after he alleged he was sexually assaulted by Aldrich.
In 2013, Aldrich pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in a case involving a 16-year-old Michigan high school hockey player. A felony count was dropped and Aldrich was released from jail in 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.