Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin is denying any role in covering up an alleged sexual assault during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The alleged assault happened in 2018 and involved the now-former head coach of Pittsburgh's affiliate in the American Hockey League, according to a report from TSN. The lawsuit claims that Clark Donatelli, the former head coach of the AHL team, allegedly repeatedly groped the wife of the AHL team's now-former assistant coach, Jarrod Skalde.
Skalde claims in the lawsuit that he informed Guerin, who at the time was assistant general manager for the Penguins, of the incident seven months later, accusing Guerin of instructing him to keep it quiet.
"When I learned of these allegations, I promptly brought them to Pittsburgh Penguins senior management. The allegations were quickly investigated. I emphatically deny anything to the contrary," Guerin said in a statement Tuesday.
The Minnesota Wild, who hired Guerin in August 2019, says it "fully supports him" and will have no further comment as the situation is a matter of active litigation.
Per the TSN report, the lawsuit alleges that Skalde was in the front seat of a car while his wife was sexually assaulted by Donatelli.
"Skalde alleges that seven months later, when the incident was brought to the attention of Penguins’ assistant general manager Bill Guerin, whose duties included overseeing the NHL team’s AHL operation, Guerin told Skalde to keep quiet about the alleged assault. He alleges the NHL team has violated Pennsylvania’s whistleblower laws and fired him on May 5, 2020, because he complained to the team."
The Pittsburgh Penguins have addressed the lawsuit, issuing the following statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“We took this incident very seriously and acted immediately, The team investigated and addressed the alleged incident within hours of being notified in June 2019 despite the fact that Mr. Skalde delayed seven months before he made any complaint. Following the report, Mr. Skalde continued to coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for an additional year, until we made significant staff reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As assistant general manager of the Penguins, Guerin oversaw all AHL activities.