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Blackhawks investigating conduct of assistant Crawford

Reuters | Chicago | Updated: 03-12-2019 07:47 IST | Created: 03-12-2019 07:44 IST
Blackhawks investigating conduct of assistant Crawford
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford won't be with the team while it investigates allegations of physical abuse in previous coaching roles. "The Chicago Blackhawks will be conducting a thorough review of assistant coach Marc Crawford based on the recent allegations that have been made regarding his conduct with another organization," the team said Monday night in a statement. "Marc Crawford will be away from the team during this time and the organization will have no further comment until completion of the review."

Former NHL player Sean Avery discussed a kicking incident that allegedly occurred when Crawford was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings during the 2006-07 season. "He kicked me after a too-many-men-on-the-ice call I took," Avery told the New York Post over the weekend. "He didn't have me serve it, we got scored on, and he let me have it.

"You know how I stand at the end of the bench? He came down and gave me an ass kick that left a mark." Avery's story brought to the surface comments made last season by former defenseman Brent Sopel, who played for the Vancouver Canucks in 1999 when Crawford was the head coach. Sopel, on the Spittin' Chicklets Podcast last year, described a contentious relationship with profane verbal sparring that turned physical.

"He kicked me, he choked me, he grabbed the back of my jersey and pulled me back," Sopel said. "He attacked guys personally." This comes in the wake of Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters being forced to resign Friday after reports of previous racist comments and physical abuse came to light.

In response to that, former NHL player Patrick O'Sullivan tweeted last week that he "went through awful things with my first NHL coach, who knew my abuse background as a child." That coach was Crawford with the Kings in the 2006-07 season. O'Sullivan added: "I hope they all get what's coming to them and I hope it happens fast."

Crawford, 58, has been a head coach in 18 NHL seasons, for the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche (1994-1998), Canucks (1998-2006), Kings (2006-2008), Dallas Stars (2009-11) and the Ottawa Senators as an interim for 18 games last season. He has a record of 556-431-103-79. The Blackhawks hired him in the offseason.


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