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Rick Westhead

TSN Senior Correspondent

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Erin Skalde, the wife of a former Pittsburgh Penguins minor league assistant coach who was allegedly sexually assaulted by her husband’s colleague, is about to file a lawsuit against the coach and the Penguins ownership group, said a law firm representing Skalde.

Former Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin, who is now the general manager of the Minnesota Wild, will also be named as a defendant, according to a statement released Tuesday morning by Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, the Chicago law firm representing Skalde.

The statement said the lawsuit is expected to be filed in state court in Rhode Island where the alleged abuse occurred, and will name as defendants the Penguins, Clark Donatelli, Guerin, and Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle.

“The lawsuit will state that sexual abuse took place on a team road trip to Providence, Rhode Island on November 11, 2018, and that the team’s handling of the incident included Jarrod being told to keep quiet by organization management, Erin being called a liar and never being interviewed as part of the team’s investigation, along with Jarrod being fired from the organization,” the statement said.

“Additionally, the Penguins organization has made public comments that show an utter disregard for the experience of a sexual assault victim and have retraumatized her multiple times.”

The allegations against the Penguins first came to public attention after Jarrod Skalde filed a lawsuit on Nov. 3, 2020, in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania alleging that Donatelli, the former head coach of the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, had assaulted his wife, Erin, when the three of them were in a car together during a team road trip in Providence, R.I.

Jarrod said that seven months later, when the incident was brought to the attention of Guerin, who was the Penguins’ assistant general manager at the time, Guerin told him to keep quiet about the alleged assault.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Guerin, the general manager of the Wild since August 2019, was appointed assistant general manager of the 2022 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team in March. Guerin is also being investigated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport after Skalde filed a complaint on Oct. 5.

SafeSport investigators have not yet interviewed her about her complaint. If investigators find Guerin violated the centre’s code of conduct, Guerin could face a temporary or permanent suspension from working with the U.S. Olympic program.

Jarrod has alleged in his lawsuit that the NHL team violated Pennsylvania’s whistleblower laws and fired him on May 5, 2020, because he complained to the team about the alleged assault of his wife. Jarrod and the Penguins were recently in settlement talks but failed to reach an agreement.