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Penguins, Guerin to Face Additional Lawsuit Over Alleged Donatelli Assault

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NHL trade rumors, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin

The Pittsburgh Penguins have the negative spotlight upon them on Tuesday. Lawyers for former WBS Penguins assistant coach Jarrod Skalde and his wife Erin will hold a 2 p.m. press conference to announce plans to move forward with a second lawsuit against the organization for the alleged sexual assault by WBS Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli on Mrs. Skalde in Nov. 2018.

The Skadles are currently suing the Pittsburgh Penguins for terminating Jarrod during the pandemic. The second suit will be filed against the Penguins organization, owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, Bill Guerin (now the Minnesota Wild GM), and Donatelli.

The incident occurred during a road trip in Providence, Rhode Island. Lawyers for Skalde alleged in the first suit, which is still pending, that Donatelli demanded Mrs. Skalde sit in the backseat with him as the three drove from a restaurant to their hotel. Mr. Skalde returned to the restaurant to retrieve a personal item, at which time Donatelli allegedly sexually assaulted Mrs. Skalde.

Jarrod Skalde was unaware of the assault until later that night.

The first suit claims the Penguins dismissed Skalde because he reported the assault.

This second lawsuit is specifically regarding the assault.

As part of the second suit, the Skaldes will claim that Guerin told Jarrod to keep quiet, Erin was called a liar, and they were never interviewed as part of the investigation.

In a statement the Penguins released to Sportsnet, the Penguins said:

“We took this Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 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 reported the incident. Immediately upon receiving the report, a full investigation was conducted within 72 hours, and the former coach resigned from the organization. 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.”

Erin Skalde’s lawyers will hold a Zoom press conference on Tuesday to detail the allegation, and a lawsuit will be filed in Rhode Island. On Sept. 30, a judge dismissed the Pittsburgh Penguins motion for arbitration instead of a jury trial.

UPDATE: Erin Skalde’s lawyer released an additional statement rather than a press conference on Tuesday:

“There has been a development in the case we will file on behalf of Erin Skalde for sexual assault by former WBS Penguins hockey coach Clark Donatelli. A second woman who detailed a similar assault by Donatelli on a different date and different time in a different location has retained our law firm. Our legal team is moving quickly to investigate those facts…”

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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C Daniel
C Daniel
1 month ago

Criticising people for “delaying” never comes across well. And if HR’s handled centrally then any mishandling won’t have been just Guerin acting off his own bat, however much the Pens want to frame it as a “WBS incident”.

C Daniel
C Daniel
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Of course. But the sentence in the statement could have ended after “within hours of being notified in June 2019”.

Ujn Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  C Daniel

True, however trying to investigate something that occurred 7 months ago is much more difficult than trying to investigate something that happened last night. I think it only makes sense that they point this out as it could (would) affect the entire investigation.

Steve
Steve (@steve)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Very ugly all around. I also am not a lawyer, and I hate to speculate, so I will phrase my question carefully. Any chatter around the organization that this lawsuit and the handling of it had anything to do with Rutherford’s abrupt resignation?

Brian
Brian
1 month ago

I’m curious if the police were informed or did a separate investigation on this? If he coached for an additional year after the incident why the lawsuit now and only after being let go due to covid cut backs?

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