After completing an investigation into allegations of physical abuse against Marc Crawford, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday that the assistant coach will remain posted until January 2, 2020.
“We do not approve of his previous behavior,” the group said in a statement. “Through the review I have confirmed that Marc has proactively sought professional counseling to work to improve and become a better communicator, person and coach. I learned that Marc began counseling in 2010 and has been receiving treatment on a regular basis ever since.
“We believe Marc has learned from his past actions and is committed to trying to change himself and evolve personally and professionally over the last decade. We did not experience any incidents during Marc’s term with the Chicago Blackhawks.”
The suspension came after claims by Sean Avery in the New York Post’s Larry Brooks in late November that the former NHLer alleged that Crawford kicked him out, while the two were employed by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2006-07 season. Avery said Crawford kicked him because Avery was responsible for a punishment for too many men that led Kings to give up a goal.
An investigation began after the story was released, and the Blackhawks officially suspended Crawford from his coaching duties.
MORE: Former Blackhawks defender Brent Sopel clarifies Crawford’s claim “
In the same press release announcing the team’s findings, Crawford apologized.
“Players like Sean Avery, Harold Druken, Patrick O’Sullivan and Brent Sopel have had the power to make a public appearance and I’m deeply saddened to hurt them,” the former Kings, Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars and Ottawa said the coach. “I offer my sincere apologies for my past behavior.”
He added that “he was coached to help people and think that my actions in any way hurt another player with astonishing sadness and frustration with myself”, I used unacceptable language and behavior towards players in hopes of moving , sometimes, we went too far. As I deeply regret this behavior, I have worked hard over the last decade to improve both myself and the way we train. “
Crawford, 58, said he has sought counseling over the past decade and has learned how to manage his emotions better. His rehabilitation depends on continuing to comply with his contractual obligations and the expectations of the teams and according to the release will continue to provide advice.
A week ago, the NHL announced new policies and procedures that required teams and their staff to immediately report any inappropriate behavior to the league office – physical or verbal. The move comes amid accusations against Crawford, former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters and former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock.