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Monday, December 13, 2021

Joel Quenneville resigns as Panthers coach

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Joel Quenneville stepped down as coach of the Florida Panthers “with deep regret” on Thursday, a day after it was revealed he ignored a 2010 sexual abuse claim.

Quenneville, then the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, wanted his team to concentrate on the Stanley Cup instead of helping then-rookie Kyle Beach, who revealed himself Tuesday as the player alleging he was abused by video coach Brad Aldrich.

“I want to express my sorrow for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, has suffered,” Quenneville said in a statement. “My former team the Blackhawks failed Kyle and I own my share of that. I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone.”

Beach says his claims were swept under the rug by the organization, including Quenneville.

“I’ve witnessed meetings, right after I reported it to [Blackhawks mental skills coach] James Gary, that were held in Joel Quenneville’s office. There’s absolutely no way that he can deny knowing it,” Beach said in an interview with TSN on Wednesday.

joel quenneville
Joel Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
AP

Quenneville, 63, gave Aldrich a positive evaluation when he left the team, according to an independent investigation into the team’s handling of Beach’s claim.

The longtime coaching veteran previously said he learned of the allegations “through the media” in the summer of 2021.

Quenneville coached the Panthers to a 4-1 win over the Bruins Wednesday, and did not speak to media postgame. He met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.

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