Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford will be away from the team as it conducts a "thorough review" of "recent allegations that have been made regarding his conduct with another organization," the team said Monday.
The decision comes two days after the New York Post published a story in which former NHL player Sean Avery alleged that Crawford kicked him during a game in the 2006-07 season, when Crawford was coaching the Kings and Avery was playing for them.
"He kicked me after a too many men on the ice call I took," Avery said. "He didn't have me serve it, we got scored on, and he let me have it. ... You know how I stand at the end of the bench? He came down and gave me a kick [in the behind] that left a mark."
Avery told the Post that he was on Crawford's bad side after an incident in practice a few days earlier.
"This was right after I [messed] up a drill and dumped the puck into the wrong corner, and it landed on Crow's head and cut him for six [stitches]," Avery said.
There has been increased scrutiny on the conduct of NHL coaches since allegations against Bill Peters came to light last week. Former player Akim Aliu alleged that Peters directed racial epithets toward him when they were in the minors 10 years ago. Peters admitted to the incident in a letter of apology to Flames GM Brad Treliving, saying the comments were made in a "moment of frustration." He resigned as head coach of the team on Friday.
As the Flames were investigating Peters, more allegations of misconduct surfaced. Former Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan said that when Peters coached there, he kicked him and punched an unnamed player in the head. Current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour -- then an assistant with the Flames -- told reporters that the incident "for sure happened."
Former NHL player Patrick O'Sullivan said on Twitter last week that he "went through awful things with my first NHL coach who knew my abuse background as a child." O'Sullivan debuted for Crawford's Kings in 2006-07.
Crawford, 58, is in his first season with the Blackhawks. He coached the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in 1996 and coached with the Canucks, Kings, Stars and Senators.
Another former NHL player, Brent Sopel, alleged last year that Crawford physically abused him while they were on the Senators.
"He kicked me, he choked me, he grabbed the back of my jersey and pulled me back," Sopel told Barstool Sports' "Spittin Chicklets" podcast.
Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton said he understood the reason for a review.
"I can only speak for my time with Marc. He's been excellent," Colliton said after Monday night's 4-0 loss to St. Louis. "I've really enjoyed that he's added a lot to our group and our staff and our players. I'll leave it at that.''