Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville resigns position with Florida Panthers

Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville resigns position with Florida Panthers
Wilfredo Lee/AP

The Florida Panthers have announced head coach Joel Quenneville has resigned.

Quenneville was the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks during the time that player Kyle Beach says he was sexually assaulted by a then-video coach for the team.

Quenneville met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Panthers general manager Bill Zito, and Panthers president and CEO Matthew Caldwell on Thursday.

He tendered his resignation following the meeting, the team said.

Blackhawks’ President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman and Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Al MacIsaac resigned Tuesday after their alleged roles in the matter were detailed in an investigation conducted by law firm Jenner & Block.

“After the release of the Jenner & Block investigative report on Tuesday afternoon, we have continued to diligently review the information within that report, in addition to new information that has recently become available,” Caldwell said in a statement. “It should go without saying that the conduct described in that report is troubling and inexcusable. It stands in direct contrast to our values as an organization and what the Florida Panthers stand for. No one should ever have to endure what Kyle Beach experienced during, and long after, his time in Chicago. Quite simply, he was failed. We praise his bravery and courage in coming forward.”

Bettman said in a statement that the league agrees with Quenneville’s decision to step down. The commissioner said Quenneville was among several former members of the team’s top officials who mishandled Beach’s claim in 2010.

“I admire Kyle Beach for his courage in coming forward, am appalled that he was so poorly supported upon making his initial claim and in the 11 years since, and am sorry for all he has endured,” Bettman said.

On Tuesday, the NHL announced it had fined the Blackhawks $2 million for what the league described as “the organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response.”

The Blackhawks organization apologized to its fans in a letter published Tuesday, saying it had not lived up to its own standards.

“As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to the individuals who suffered from these experiences. We must — and will — do better,” it said.

Beach, 31, now plays professionally in Germany.

The Panthers said an announcement will be forthcoming regarding an interim head coach.

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