Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville resigns position with Florida Panthers
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. Bettman said the league would not take action against Quenneville, the second-winningest coach in NHL history, but the coach would have to meet with the commissioner before returning to the league.
Quenneville, 63, told a reporter for Canadian sports network TSN that he was resigning with “deep regret and contrition.”
“I want to express my sorrow for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, has suffered,” he told TSN. “My former team the Blackhawks failed Kyle and I own my share of that.
“I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone.”
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.
Beach also said he wanted to come forward and put his name on this.
“To be honest, it’s already out there,” Beach said to TSN. “The details were pretty accurate in the report, and it’s been figured out. But more than that, I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor. And I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one, male or female. And I buried this for 10 years, 11 years. And it’s destroyed me from the inside out.”
Caldwell said the Panthers are reviewing the report and other information that recently became available.
“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,” Caldwell said in a statement. “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.”
Beach filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks in May, the Jenner & Block report says.
The Blackhawks organization apologized to its fans in a letter published Tuesday, saying it had not lived up to its own standards.
Beach, 31, now plays professionally in Germany. In 2010 he was a prospect with the Blackhawks top minor-league affiliate and was called up to the NHL team for the playoffs to be a player who might suit up if someone on the regular roster was injured or suspended.
Quenneville coached the Blackhawks from 2008 to 2019. Chicago won three Stanley Cups while he was coach. He had been with the Panthers for two full seasons and seven games this fall.
The Panthers said an announcement will be forthcoming regarding an interim head coach.
CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.