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Former Blackhawk claims 'almost every player and coach was aware' of sexual abuse allegations

·2-min read

Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel recently spoke with TSN’s Rick Westhead and told him that “almost every player and coach was aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled by a former Blackhawks player against former video coach Brad Aldrich."

Sopel’s comments come roughly one month after it was reported that the Blackhawks refused to disclose the alleged sex abuse to the police in 2010. Sopel, who appeared in 22 games for the team during its Stanley Cup run that postseason, said the locker room was stunned after finding out about the incident during the 2010 Western Conference final.

“…I’d say pretty much every player said, ‘Holy s—t’ and was shocked by it,” Sopel told TSN. “We were all in the same dressing room. It was something that was discussed for at least two or three days. [Former head coach Joel] Quenneville was in the same office as [Aldrich]. We heard about it.”

Sopel’s comments are noteworthy as Quenneville recently stated he hadn’t heard about the allegations until this summer.

An anonymous former member of the team has claimed that “every guy on the team knew about it,” while another source of Westhead’s stated that this was an “open secret” among staff members.

Brent Sopel, pictured as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)
Brent Sopel, pictured as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

Sopel also added that it may be difficult for some to step up and be honest about the situation due to their job status with the organization.

“A lot of those guys who were on that 2009-10 team are still with the Blackhawks getting paid and they're either still playing, or in broadcasting or coaching, management or scouting or being an ambassador for the team,” he said. “That’s why they are not saying anything. Guys want to protect their jobs. But they should still be doing the right thing and telling the truth publicly about what happened.”

The 12-year NHL blueliner said he believed the Blackhawks had alerted authorities regarding the matter, and was worried that the organization would punish him if he spoke out earlier by attacking the Brent Sopel Foundation, which aims to help children who battle dyslexia.

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