The Chicago Blackhawks are investigating assistant coach Marc Crawford just days after former NHLer Sean Avery told The Post that Crawford kicked him on the bench while the two were members of the Los Angeles Kings over a decade ago.
Crawford, 58, will be away from the Blackhawks until the investigation is completed, the team announced Monday.
“He kicked me,” during the 2006-07 season, “after a too-many-men-on-the-ice call I took,” Avery told The Post’s Larry Brooks in a column published Saturday. “He didn’t have me serve it, we got scored on, and he let me have it.” Crawford was the Kings’ head coach at the time.”
Avery added: “You know how I stand at the end of the bench? He came down and gave me an ass kick that left a mark.”
Later that season, the Kings traded Avery to the Rangers where he became one of the league’s biggest pests.
The 39-year-old, who retired in 2012, said he found the incident more puzzling than upsetting, and on Monday told The Post he has not yet been contacted by the Blackhawks or the NHL with regards to an investigation.
Avery tweeted in response to the development: “After an exhausting investigation the “AVERY REVIEW” has concluded that Mark “The Crow” Crawford was a demanding coach who would actually fight for his players and gave Mr. Avery a great opportunity to become a better player and teammate even though he was an unmanageable “Ass”.
Avery’s story came in response to the firing of Bill Peters, who faced accusations of racial slurs and physical abuse in prior jobs before Calgary handed him the pink slip last week, as well as Mike Babcock, who was canned by Toronto in November with his team underperforming, and has been the subject of verbal assault allegations from former players since his firing.
— With Larry Brooks
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