A silversmith obscured the name of a former Chicago Blackhawks coach on the Stanley Cup in the wake of a sexual assault probe that has rocked the sport, officials said Thursday.
Brad Aldrich's name has been covered with a series of Xs, virtually removing him from North America's most revered sports trophy.
The redaction happened on Sunday as a silversmith engraved names of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who hoisted Lord Stanley's cup after defeating the Montreal Canadiens for the NHL title in July, a spokeswoman for the Hockey Hall of Fame confirmed.
Names of players and staff are engraved annually on the cup and Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz last week asked the Hall of Fame to remove Aldrich’s.
His name couldn't be totally removed without taking off an entire band of the cup, containing names of the 2009-10 Blackhawks and other champions of that era, so hockey officials opted for the Xs, the Hall of Fame rep said.
During the 2010 playoffs, former Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach accused Aldrich of sexually assaulting him. An internal probe revealed last week that senior team officials knew about that allegation against Aldrich but failed to take immediate action.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman stepped down from his post when the report was issued, followed shortly by the resignation of Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville, who was behind the Chicago bench in 2010.
The Chicago Blackhawks apologized to Beach for dismissing his allegations.
"We apologize to Kyle Beach for previously stating his allegations ‘lacked merit.’ It is clear now that our organization did not do the right thing," the team said in a statement.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday also apologized, saying he was "horrified" to watch Beach's tell-all interview on a Canadian sports network last week.
"It was emotional. I was distressed. And I knew that he had obviously been suffering just by watching him and I wanted to make sure that we were continued to be focused on how to deal with what was now in front of us and I was sorry as a personal matter that anybody, particularly him, had to go through what he was discussing," Bettman said.
Aldrich's attorney could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.
According to the internal probe, Aldrich did not deny that a sexual encounter with the player occurred, but he contended that it was consensual.
The former coach now runs a glass manufacturing company in Calumet, Michigan. He's on Michigan's Sex Offender Registry, following a 2013 conviction for having sexual contact with a student while he was volunteering as a high school coach in Michigan.