During a recent interview, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reported that Joel Quenneville had indicated that he would eventually like to return to the NHL. However, Bettman noted that this wasn’t the time. (from “Gary Bettman addresses Joel Quenneville’s future in NHL after scandal,” Christopher Scarglato, New York Post, 17/06/2022).
Bettman’s Response Is both Ironic and Appropriate
Bettman’s answer was ironic. When the former coach of the Florida Panthers resigned last October, it was revealed that Quenneville had been involved in meetings where it was revealed that a former Blackhawks video coordinator (Brad Aldrich) had sexually assaulted a young Blackhawks’ player (Kyle Beach). However, Quenneville (the Blackhawks coach at the time) reportedly said that he wanted to focus on winning the Stanley Cup at the time. As a result, he put the investigation on the back burner.
Joel Quenneville has resigned as head coach of the Florida Panthers due to his involvement in the mishandling of the Kyle Beach sexual assault allegations.
Andrew Brunette will serve as interim head coach. pic.twitter.com/dLl1xrXcrh
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 29, 2021
In short, Quenneville didn’t take the sexual abuse claims seriously enough. He mishandled them, which caused increased sufferening for his young player (Beach).
Not surprising then that Bettman hinted that it might be a while yet before the disgraced Quenneville would be back coaching. Part of a coach’s job is to protect his players.
Quenneville and Bettman Would Have to Speak Directly About the Issue
Before Quenneville would have any chance of reinstatement, he’d have to speak directly to Commissioner Bettman. Only then would Bettman decide Quenneville’s future – presumably as a coach.
In the interview, Bettman noted that “[Quenneville] has indicated that he would, at the appropriate time, like to be part of the game again.”
Bettman also said. “I don’t think this is the time. But we’ll see what happens in the future.”
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