NHL's Gary Bettman Meets with Kyle Beach in Aftermath of Blackhawks Investigation

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 31, 2021

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with Kyle Beach, the former player within the Chicago Blackhawks organization who said he was sexually abused by a member of the coaching staff in 2010.

"There was discussion about what could be done in the future to assure this kind of thing did not occur again," attorney Susan Loggans said of the conversation between Bettman and her client, per the Associated Press' Jay Cohen.

Beach's identity had previously been unknown as the scandal played out over a series of months. He opened up Wednesday in an interview with TSN's Rick Westhead.

Westhead initially reported in June that video coach Brad Aldrich allegedly sexually assaulted two players and that the allegations were made clear to high-ranking members of the Blackhawks organization.

Not only did those officials fail to forward the allegations to Chicago police, but Aldrich was allowed to remain with the team through the end of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run. Beach told Westhead he "felt sick to my stomach" watching Aldrich celebrate with the Stanley Cup.

"It was like his life was the same as the day before. Same every day," Beach said. "And then when they won, to see him paraded around lifting the Cup, at the parade, at the team pictures, at celebrations, it made me feel like nothing. It made me feel like I didn't exist."

Aldrich departed the team after that season and was able to continue his career in hockey. In 2014, he was sentenced to nine months in jail for sexually assaulting a student at a high school where he worked as a volunteer hockey coach.

The NHL announced Tuesday it fined the Blackhawks $2 million following an investigation into the club's handling of the allegations. The franchise said in its own statement that "the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling these disturbing incidents."

Following Beach's interview, the Blackhawks wrote another statement largely echoing their initial comments:

Chicago Blackhawks @NHLBlackhawks

A statement from the Chicago Blackhawks <a href="https://t.co/x1XbMXDiyA">pic.twitter.com/x1XbMXDiyA</a>

Beyond the punishment issued by the league, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac resigned upon the conclusion of the investigation.

Joel Quenneville, who was coaching the Blackhawks at the time of the alleged assaults, also resigned as head coach of the Florida Panthers on Thursday.


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