Content warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.
Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman have requested meetings with National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss their potential reinstatement into the league, Bettman said Saturday.
Bettman held his annual “State of the Union” press conference in the hours leading up to Game 1 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers. He covered a wide range of topics, including the salary cap, the Arizona Coyotes arena situation, and the status of Valeri Nichushkin.
Among the questions Bettman fielded was one related to former Chicago Blackhawks off-ice cornerstones Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman, both of whom are currently ineligible to work in the league in the wake of the Kyle Beach scandal. Bowman’s name has popped up in relation to multiple NHL general manager vacancies this spring.
Bettman confirmed that NHL member clubs are not allowed to hire either Quenneville or Bowman before he meets with both of them independently during the off-season.
“They’re currently not eligible. They have both requested, independently, meetings with me,” Bettman said. “After the Stanley Cup Final we’ll try and schedule something and I’ll see what they have to say.”
Bowman resigned as general manager of the Blackhawks and Quenneville stepped down as head coach of the Florida Panthers early in the 2021–22 season in the wake of revelations that they failed to act appropriately after former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich allegedly sexually assaulted Beach, a “Black Ace”, during the team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup.
An independent investigator concluded that Bowman’s failure to report the assault eventually led to Aldrich being able to commit further acts of abuse. The report also indicated that Quenneville wished to delay any action on the matter until after the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, wishing to avoid a distraction.
Aldrich resigned from the Blackhawks shortly after the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, and his name was subsequently engraved on the Stanley Cup (it has since been removed).
Quenneville served as head coach of the Blackhawks from 2008 to 2018; Bowman reigned as the team’s general manager from 2009 to 2021. Both of them won the Stanley Cup with the team in 2010, 2013, and 2015.