The Blackhawks have requested that Brad Aldrich's name be removed from the Stanley Cup. The news was first reported by ESPN's Emily Kaplan.
Kyle Beach, a former Chicago first-round pick (No. 11 overall) in 2008 who recently came forward as John Doe in the lawsuit against the Blackhawks, alleged that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The findings of the independent investigation were released publicly on Tuesday.
Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz sent a letter to Hockey Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald, asking for Aldrich's name to be stamped over. Here's the full letter:
As you know, the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the names of our players proudly are displayed on Lord Stanley's Cup for the years 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013 and 2015. The names Arthur M. Wirtz, Arthur M. Wirtz, Jr. and my name are engraved representing three generations of our family. Each engraving, whether it is my grandfather's name, my uncle's or mine, carries a sense of reverence, respect and humility. No other trophy of sport compares to the Stanley Cup and what it represents: hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, athleticism and teamwork. For the Chicago Blackhawks, no words can describe the pride in winning the trophy. Ask any player. Ask any owner.
And as you know, the Chicago Blackhawks recently announced the findings of an independent investigation by a former federal prosecutor, commissioned by us to get to the bottom of allegations of serious misconduct during the 2009-10 season. That season resulted in us hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in 49 years.
The investigation revealed that the team's video coach had a sexual encounter with a player during the 2010 season. While the behavior of our front office staff who were alerted to this incident was inexplicable and wrong, the behavior of the video coach was unforgivable, and led to his removal from the Blackhawks organization.
Three years later in 2013, that video coach, Brad Aldrich, was convicted in Michigan of 4th degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 16-year-old minor. He was sentenced to nine months in jail and is currently listed on Michigan's sex offender registry.
Aldrich's involvement with the team during the 2010 season has cast a pall on the players' extraordinary work that year. The names of some of hockey's most talented athletes appear on the Stanley Cup. But so does the name "Brad Aldrich" whose role as video coach made him eligible for the engraving. His conduct disqualified him, however, and it was a mistake to submit his name. We are sorry we allowed it to happen.
I am humbly requesting that the Hockey Hall of Fame consider "x'ing" out his name on the Stanley Cup. While nothing can undo what he did, leaving his name on the most prestigious trophy in sports seems profoundly wrong.
Taking this step comes with precedent. The name "Basil Pocklington" is stamped over on the 1983-84 Stanley Cup. The owner of the Oilers, as you are aware, put his father's name onto the trophy list, even though his father had nothing to do with the team or its victory. The NHL demanded the name by notably X'ed out. That decision, among others, reflects the Cup's storied history of engraving mistakes, misspellings and errors that have ended up enshrined in silver, or been corrected after the fact.
The Stanley Cup is an evolving piece of art. It always has been. Names have been engraved and then changed for years. Taking a stand on the unforgivable behavior of Aldrich should include erasing his name from the Cup. The NHL screens and takes seriously, as it should, the eligibility of players seeking the distinct honor of being included.
Out of respect to each and every player who sacrificed to earn their place in history and on the Stanley Cup, our request is based on principle and our moral belief that a convicted sex offender does not belong on the Stanley Cup. Thank you for your consideration in this request. I look forward to discussing it at your earliest convenience."