It was announced this morning that the Penguins and Erin and Jarrod Skalde have reached a resolution over legal matters.
The Skaldes had previously filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for wrongful termination after alleging that former Wilkes-Barre head coach Clark Donatelli molested Erin Skalde during an outing on a road trip in 2018.
A judge on September 30 denied the Penguins’ motion for arbitration instead of a jury trial.
Last week it was reported that Erin Skalde was planning on filing a civil sexual assault lawsuit in Rhode Island, listing the Penguins as defendants.
Instead, the manner is resolved now.
The Post-Gazette covered some of the further details:
Skalde said he reported the incident to Guerin on June 21, 2019. Guerin, currently the general manager for the Minnesota Wild, was the GM in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton then.
On June 27, 2019, Donatelli suddenly resigned as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach, two days after he led a practice at prospect development camp at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. A team press release cited “personal reasons.” The earlier lawsuit alleged that Guerin told Skalde to “stay quiet” about the alleged assault.
Guerin has publicly denied saying that and claims he immediately went through the proper channels once the alleged incident was brought to his attention.
Skalde remained with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2020-21 season, staying on as an assistant under Donatelli’s replacement, Mike Vellucci. Skalde, now coaching in Europe, alleges the Penguins fired him last May because he complained to the team and by doing so they violated Pennsylvania’s whistleblower laws.
The Penguins maintain that the accusations were handled appropriately.
“We took this Wilkes-Barre/Scranton incident very seriously and acted immediately,” the Penguins said Tuesday in a statement. “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.”
The U.S. Center for SafeSport has opened an investigation into Guerin’s role and handling of this situation last month. Guerin is currently the general manager of the Minnesota Wild and was expected to be named the GM of Team USA for the 2022 Olympics after Stan Bowman stepped down from the position after an investigation revealed Bowman’s actions and decisions in the 2010 Kyle Beach sexual assault scandal.
SafeSport is an independent center responsible for receiving, investigating and deciding sanctions for reports of misconduct within the U.S. Olympic movement. Per TSN, “if investigators find he violated the centre’s code of conduct, Guerin could face a temporary or permanent suspension from working with the U.S. Olympic program.”
The Penguins released the following statement following the resolution: