The Chicago Blackhawks and assistant coach Marc Crawford have released the following statements:
The Chicago Blackhawks, and independent legal counsel, conducted a thorough review of assistant coach Marc Crawford in response to allegations of misconduct in previous coaching positions. During this process, we engaged with many of Marc's former players, colleagues, and executive management.
We do not condone his previous behavior. Through our review, we confirmed that Marc proactively sought professional counseling to work to improve and become a better communicator, person and coach. We learned that Marc began counseling in 2010 and he has continued therapy on a regular basis since. We believe that Marc has learned from his past actions and has committed to striving to reform himself and evolve personally and professionally over the last decade. We have experienced no incidents during Marc's coaching tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks.
We have determined that Marc will remain suspended from team activities until January 2, 2020, at which time he will resume his assistant coaching duties, subject to his continued compliance with his contractual obligations and team expectations. In addition, he will continue with his counseling moving forward. We will have no further comment.
ASSISTANT COACH MARC CRAWFORD:
Thank you for the opportunity to share my comments. It was important for me to respect the process required by the Chicago Blackhawks and the ongoing, important discussions being had by players and the National Hockey League. This is why I am sharing my thoughts at this time.
Recently, allegations have resurfaced about my conduct earlier in my coaching career. Players like Sean Avery, Harold Druken, Patrick O'Sullivan and Brent Sopel have had the strength to publicly come forward and I am deeply sorry for hurting them. I offer my sincere apologies for my past behavior.
I got into coaching to help people, and to think that my actions in any way caused harm to even one player fills me with tremendous regret and disappointment in myself. I used unacceptable language and conduct toward players in hopes of motivating them, and, sometimes went too far. As I deeply regret this behavior, I have worked hard over the last decade to improve both myself and my coaching style.
I have made sincere efforts to address my inappropriate conduct with the individuals involved as well as the team at large. I have regularly engaged in counseling over the last decade where I have faced how traumatic my behavior was towards others. I learned new ways of expressing and managing my emotions. I take full responsibility for my actions. Moving forward, I will continue to improve myself, to listen to those that I may have hurt, and learn from their experiences. My goal is to approach all players, past and present, with empathy and understanding. My hope, as a coach and a person, is to create environments of dignity and respect.
I sincerely want to help make our game better for everyone. I want to encourage anyone who may have been impacted by me to reach out so that we may continue this dialogue. There is an important discussion happening in hockey right now. I am and will continue to be a part of the solution moving forward. These conversations will set the course for future generations. I commit to being sensitive to the process, and most of all, listening to individual perspectives and feelings.