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Amid scandal, Quenneville resigns as Florida Panthers coach


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Joel Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers on Thursday, two days after the second-winningest coach in NHL historical past was amongst these implicated for not swiftly responding to allegations by a Chicago Blackhawks participant of being sexually assaulted by one other coach throughout the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The announcement was made shortly after Quenneville met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York to debate his position within the Blackhawks’ response to claims from Kyle Seaside that he was sexually assaulted by then-Blackhawks assistant Brad Aldrich.

“I love Kyle Seaside for his braveness in coming ahead, am appalled that he was so poorly supported upon making his preliminary declare and within the 11 years since, and am sorry for all he has endured,” Bettman mentioned.

Andrew Brunette — an assistant coach underneath Quenneville in Florida — was employed because the group’s interim coach, and is predicted to make his debut when the unbeaten Panthers play at Detroit on Friday evening. Brunette has by no means been a head coach.

Quenneville resigned with about three years and $15 million remaining on his contract with the Panthers. In a press release launched to TSN, Quenneville mentioned he resigned “with deep remorse and contrition.”

“I wish to categorical my sorrow for the ache this younger man, Kyle Seaside, has suffered. My former group, the Blackhawks, failed Kyle and I personal my share of that,” Quenneville mentioned. “I wish to mirror on how all of this occurred and take the time to coach myself on making certain hockey areas are protected for everybody.”

Bettman mentioned he agreed with Quenneville’s determination to resign. If Quenneville ever needs to return to the NHL, Bettman mentioned the league would wish to satisfy with him first and approve his hiring.

“Joel made the choice to resign and the Florida Panthers accepted that resignation,” Panthers President Matthew Caldwell mentioned.

The fallout probably isn’t over. Bettman will meet Friday with Winnipeg Jets common supervisor Kevin Cheveldayoff, who additionally labored for the Blackhawks when Seaside made his allegations.

“Joel Quenneville decided to resign his place with the Florida Panthers and as affiliation we perceive and respect the choice that has been take,” a press release from the NHL Coaches Affiliation mentioned. “This determination is just one step in a protracted journey we should take collectively — one which should embrace studying from the extremely painful experiences of Kyle Seaside.”

An investigation launched Tuesday mentioned Quenneville — who coached Chicago at the moment — and others within the Blackhawks group didn’t prioritize addressing Seaside’s allegations, presumably as a result of they didn’t wish to take away from the group’s push towards a championship.

Quenneville has mentioned he was unaware of the allegations till this summer time, a stance he reiterated as just lately as Wednesday morning. Seaside, in an interview that aired Wednesday night on TSN, mentioned there was “completely no manner” the then-Blackhawks coach might deny understanding concerning the allegations.

The Panthers allowed Quenneville to educate Wednesday evening in a sport that began about an hour after Seaside’s interview aired. At that time, the group’s investigation into what to do and how one can proceed was already underway.

“We thank the Panthers’ group for working with us to make sure that an intensive course of was adopted,” Bettman mentioned.

At 7-0-0, the Panthers are off to their greatest begin within the franchise’s 28-year historical past, wanting very very similar to the Stanley Cup contender that Quenneville was employed in 2019 to construct.

In the event that they get there, it’ll be with out him now. Gamers on Wednesday insisted their focus was solely on the ice; a number of the group’s leaders like captain Aleksander Barkov and defenseman Aaron Ekblad even mentioned they didn’t know a lot concerning the investigation or the large fallout.

“It ought to go with out saying that the conduct described in that report is troubling and inexcusable,” Caldwell mentioned. “It stands in direct distinction to our values as a corporation and what the Florida Panthers stand for. Nobody ought to ever need to endure what Kyle Seaside skilled throughout, and lengthy after, his time in Chicago.

“Fairly merely, he was failed,” Caldwell added. “We reward his bravery and braveness in coming ahead.”

Quenneville is the second-winningest coach in NHL historical past, his 969 victories trailing solely the 1,244 amassed by Scotty Bowman — the daddy of now-former Blackhawks common supervisor Stan Bowman, who resigned Tuesday when the investigation’s findings have been launched.

The investigation decided that Quenneville was amongst these attending a Could 23, 2010 assembly relating to Seaside’s claims. That was the day Chicago received the Western Convention title and moved into the Stanley Cup Last. Chicago received the Cup that season, the primary of three titles the Blackhawks received underneath Quenneville.

“Stan Bowman has quoted Joel Quenneville saying — and this isn’t a quote, that is my phrases — saying that the playoffs, the Stanley Cup playoffs and making an attempt to win a Stanley Cup was extra vital than sexual assault,” Seaside instructed TSN. “And I can’t consider that. As a human being, I can not consider that, and I can not settle for that.”

Florida performs at Detroit on Friday, trying to develop into the fifth franchise — and seventh group — in NHL historical past to start a season with eight consecutive victories. The others which have performed it: the 1934-35 and 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975-76 and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, the 2005-06 Nashville Predators and the 2015-16 Montreal Canadiens.


Extra AP NHL: and


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