Blackhawks President/GM Stan Bowman held his annual pre-NHL Draft media availability on Thursday and addressed the sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich from the 2010 Stanley Cup run.
"I wanted to start things off by talking about the allegations against the Blackhawks and the two pending lawsuits," Bowman said. "I'm going to start by saying that the Blackhawks organization takes these allegations very seriously. It's important for me to say off the top that I do not condone or tolerate harassment or assault of any type.
"As you know, the Blackhawks have engaged an outside legal term to conduct an independent review of these allegations and we need to give the experts the necessary time and the latitude to do their job well. I understand that many of you will have questions on this topic, and there will be time to answer those questions. I am eager to speak about this in more detail in the future. But for now, I have to respect the pending litigation and the independent review that's underway. I'm not going to be able to make any comments about that at this time. We have to let the process play itself out."
It remains unclear whether the independent review by the firm Jenner & Block will be made public or private, but Bowman acknowledged he will cooperate in the investigation.
"The review itself is something that I do plan to participate in and I'm going to give it my full cooperation," Bowman said. "As far as where it goes, that's not something that I can comment on. But I do know that we have some experts that we brought in — from my understanding these are well-respected people in the legal community, and I intend to fully cooperate with them."
With the expansion draft in the rearview mirror and the NHL Draft and free agency on the horizon, Bowman's attention right now is on improving the roster and letting the independent review sort itself out in due time.
"There's a lot going on," Bowman said. "There's no question about that. But I have a job to do here, and that is to build our team as best I can, and that's what I'm focused on. We have a team approach here. My staff is fully engaged, and we're going to do our best to focus on improving our team, whether that's in the draft or through trades or through free agency. We're hard at work. We dedicate our time to this, and that's what we're focused on."