Panthers coach out in wake of NHL scandal

Joel Quenneville is no longer Panthers head coach. (Getty)
Joel Quenneville is no longer Panthers head coach. (Getty)

The dominoes are starting to fall.

Joel Quenneville is reportedly no longer the head coach of the Florida Panthers after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about his role in the sexual-abuse cover-up scandal of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

The team announced his departure on Thursday night.

On Tuesday, a report that outlined the Blackhawks’ inaction following sexual-assault allegations surrounding then-video coach Brad Aldrich from 2010 was publicly released. Quenneville — who was the team’s head coach at the time — was aware of the allegations and did not pursue any further action, according to the report.

After appearing behind the bench on Wednesday, despite public outrage, Quenneville and other members of the Panthers front office met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Details of the meeting have not been released.

In July, Quenneville told the media that he was not aware of any allegations, and when asked on Wednesday if he stood by those comments, he said “I do, but I can’t comment on it,” despite the report saying otherwise.

Next on the potential chopping block is Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was a member of the Blackhawks front office in 2010, and was repeatedly named as a compliant party in the cover-up of the assault. He will be meeting with Bettman on Friday.

After the damning report and public reaction, it is tough to see another NHL team giving Quenneville a chance behind the bench, but in professional sports second chances are abundant.

The Panthers have started the 2021-22 season with seven wins in seven games. Reports say Andrew Brunette may take over as interim coach.

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