Bradley Aldrich Michigan Department of Corrections photo
More information has come to light about a Hancock man who has been accused of a string of sexual assaults and his coaching position with a former Marquette Junior Hockey team in the past decade.
CHICAGO — It was part of a story from the Canadian television broadcaster TSN and one of its senior correspondents, Rick Westhead, that was posted on the TSN website, Sports News, Opinion, Scores, Schedules | TSN
, on Saturday.
Westhead’s story actually focuses on a former Chicago Blackhawks associate coach confirming that a meeting took place during the 2010 NHL playoffs when team management discussed the alleged sexual assault of two of its players.
The man accused of the assaults is Bradley Aldrich, who in 2013 was convicted in a different case of sexual assault of a 17-year-old Houghton High School hockey player when Aldrich was an assistant coach with that team.
Previous Associated Press accounts say that Aldrich is listed as 38 years old and living in Hancock, information found on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry.
The TSN story says that Aldrich was sentenced to nine months in prison and 60 months — five years — of probation, completing probation on Feb. 13, 2019.
Aldrich’s alleged misdeeds with the Chicago squad are part of several lawsuits filed against the NHL team, saying nothing was done by the Blackhawks when the assaults became known, nor was the information shared with Aldrich’s subsequent employers.
The victims’ names in both with the Blackhawks and Houghton High School cases weren’t made public in court records.
The Marquette connection was mentioned at the end of Westhead’s story as part of the background about Aldrich after he left the Blackhawks in 2010.
Westhead reports that after the Blackhawks, Aldrich worked for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as the director of hockey operations, leaving there under a cloud of sexual assault allegations.
Then he attended Northern Michigan University, and while there, coached the Marquette Electricians youth hockey team.
Later he left to be a video coach at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. No specific allegations of improprieties with the Electricians nor Notre Dame were mentioned in the TSN story.
But the TSN story says it did speak to a parent of an Electricians player, referring to the team as a Bantam-level squad and specifically including 14- and 15-year-old players.
The Electricians, however, were a Midget AAA team, meaning it should’ve had players between the ages of 15 and 18, before it folded operations in the summer of 2015. Regardless of the players’ ages, the TSN information was disturbing if its accounts are accurate.According to the story:
“One parent on the team recalls Aldrich coached for three seasons.
“‘I definitely had concerns right away that this guy was having players over to his apartment and getting too close to them,’ said the parent, who requested anonymity because he now works with an NCAA hockey program and was ordered not to speak to the media about Aldrich. ‘A hockey coach buying a kid a $300 golf driver is grooming. That’s what it is.
“‘I remember one time in the summer after his first season in Marquette, the team had a swim and barbecue party at a cabin on a lake and when the boys started wrestling, Brad jumped into it, but he wasn’t really wrestling.
“‘It looked so wrong. And yes, I did say something. But the people who ran the team told me to mind my business, and that I was crazy for saying that, and my kid wound up being bullied because of it. Aldrich stayed at least another season after that.'”
The main focus of the TSN story, however, was about John Torchetti, who was a Chicago Blackhawks associate coach from 2007-10.
Torchetti said he “remembers then-skills coach Paul Vincent telling him about what the players had confided in him, and what had happened after Vincent brought those allegations to management.
“‘I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when Paul told me what the players had said to him,’ Torchetti said in an interview with TSN on Friday (June 25).
“‘We talked about it and he said, with the players’ permission, he had to go and take this to management to be dealt with.’
“Torchetti said Vincent told him after that ‘all the brass’ were in the meeting.”
A few paragraphs later after some background was provided, Westhead picks up the Blackhawks’ story with Vincent’s account:
“Vincent told TSN in an interview that the two Blackhawks players told him of their abuse on or about May 16, 2010, before Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in San Jose. Vincent said he asked team sports psychologist James Gary to follow up.
“Vincent said a day later he was called into a meeting at the team hotel in San Jose with team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman, vice-president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, and Gary. Vincent said he asked the team executives to go to the sex crimes unit of the Chicago police department. Vincent said they refused.
“The Blackhawks have not commented on that specific allegation and have asked a court to dismiss the lawsuits because they were not filed within the appropriate limitation period.
“‘It’s so upsetting, it’s so glaring, because of what this guy (Aldrich) was able to do after he left the Blackhawks,’ Torchetti said. ‘You have to know what kind of guy Paul Vincent is. This guy is loyal to a fault, the most loyal guy you are going to meet in the game. His background helps explain why he gets so upset about issues like abuse.'”
The story goes on to mention that Vincent, 74, was a police officer in Massachusetts for a decade, mostly in the 1970s, and that he and his late wife adopted five children after not being able to have their own. Some of their kids came from troubled homes.