From Marc Crawford
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.
From The Blackhawks
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
In news that should’ve shocked absolutely nobody, the Blackhawks have completed their investigation of their own employee after more light was shined on conduct by Crawford that was public record thanks to Brent Sopel and Spittin Chiclets. A podcast the Blackhawks organization is very familiar with since Keith, Debrincat, Dach, Seabrook, and Stan Bowman have all been guests on it. The Blackhawks apparently didn’t really do their due diligence on Crawford before hiring him, which is confirmed by their investigation. This is what I wrote as a mock press release a couple weeks ago re: Crawford
While the Blackhawks organization doesn’t condone the alleged actions by Marc Crawford, we thoroughly outlined what we deem as acceptable conduct by a Chicago Blackhawks employee. Coach Crawford expressed remorse and an understanding that his behavior over a decade ago has no place in our organization. We felt comfortable that Crawford has grown over time and learned from his mistakes as we all hope to do as we grow wiser with age. Due to the conversation and the thorough vetting by the Hockey Operations Department we felt comfortable hiring Marc Crawford as an assistant coach. Since joing the Blackhawks staff he has been an exemplary employee and a tremendous asset to our players and Jeremy Colliton. We have no further comment at this time”
Pretty similar with the exception of the fact that Marc Crawford has sought counseling and will continue to do so.
The Blackhawks, Crawford, and their lawyers checked every box in these statements that you’d want to hear about a guy with a history of abusive behavior. 1) it was a long time ago. 2) Not condoned. 3) Apologetic. 4) seeking treatment. 5) He’s back after the holiday.
I am not thrilled with how this entire situation was handled, but I am happy it was handled. If that makes sense. I am a BIG believer in second chances and I am happy Marc Crawford is getting one. Not because I think he is some sort of tremendous asset to the Blackhawks, but just because he is a human who got thrust into cancel culture. If he’s genuine about his apologies and is working to correct his behavior then progress should be rewarded. Just something that probably should’ve been addressed before they hired him to begin with.
Now that Crawford is officially back with the Blackhawks they officially have a safety net should they Hawks decide to shit can Colliton. Another guy who I hope will get a second chance to be a coach in the NHL some day. He seems like a fine person and a bright guy, just not the right guy and here at the wrong time. It’s his fault, but also not really. Victim of circumstances and expectations and poor management. Crawford coming back 1/2/20 likely means that there won’t be any changes to the coaching staff before that. Colliton and his family can enjoy the holidays.