The Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday that they will be “conducting a thorough review” of assistant coach Marc Crawford following recent allegations made against the veteran coach.
“Marc Crawford will be away from the team during this time and the organization will have no further comment until completion of the review,” the Blackhawks said in the statement.
The announcement comes days after former NHLer Sean Avery spoke with the New York Post about an alleged incident involving Crawford while the two were members of the Los Angeles Kings during the 2006-07 season. Avery told the New York Post that the incident occurred after he took a too-many-men penalty, which he didn’t serve and during which the Kings allowed a goal against. After the goal, Crawford “came down and gave me an a— kick that left a mark.”
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks suggested the alleged incident between Avery and Crawford occurred during a Dec. 23, 2006, contest between Los Angeles and the Nashville Predators. The Kings were assessed a minor for too many men in the waning moments of the second period that put Los Angeles down two skaters. NHL box scores do not identify which player was at fault for the too many men infraction, but the penalty was served by Jeff Cowan. The Predators scored 36 seconds after the penalty.
In a video posted to Twitter Monday, Avery said he had to “set the record straight” and that Crawford “had every right in the world to kick me.” Avery continued by saying he loved playing for Crawford, and that he was Avery’s “second favorite NHL coach.”
Avery’s allegation wasn’t the only to arise regarding Crawford. Comments made by former NHL defenseman Brent Sopel, originally made during an interview on the popular Spittin’ Chiclets podcast, also resurfaced over the past several days. In the interview, Sopel alleged he was kicked, choked and attacked verbally by Crawford.
The allegations against Crawford came to light after Bill Peters, who resigned from his post as coach of the Calgary Flames last week amid allegations he directed racial slurs at Akim Aliu, was accused of kicking former NHL defenseman Michal Jordan. Asked about the incident, current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour, who was Peters’ assistant when he coached Jordan in Carolina, told reporters the incident “definitely happened.”
Crawford, 58, was hired by the Blackhawks in June. Prior to joining coach Chicago’s staff, he was an associate and later interim coach with the Ottawa Senators. Before returning from the NHL after a four-year stint with the Swiss League’s ZSC Lions, Crawford coached the Dallas Stars, Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche.
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