Donald Fehr Recommends NHLPA Hires Firm to Review Handling of Kyle Beach Allegations

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 2, 2021

Donald Fehr, accepting for the late Marvin Miller, speaks about Miller during at the Baseball Hall of Fame inductions Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in Cooperstown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players' Association, recommended the union solicit the services of an outside law firm to evaluate how it handled allegations levied by Kyle Beach, according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

In an interview with TSN's Rick Westhead, Beach revealed he was the former member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization who said then-video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him.

The NHL fined the Blackhawks $2 million after the firm of Jenner & Block looked into how the franchise responded when Beach came forward to team officials.

Chicago said in a 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."

The NHLPA is also coming under scrutiny for how it acted on the situation.

During his interview with Beach, Westhead said how Fehr "was also made aware of concerns about Brad Aldrich's misconduct and promised people to investigate and didn't." He then asked Beach whether he held Fehr accountable for a level of inaction similar to that demonstrated by the Blackhawks.

"Absolutely, I would. He represents the players," Beach said. "... I believe two different people talked to Don Fehr. And for him to turn his back on the players when his one job is to protect the players at all costs, I don't know how that can be your leader. I don't know how he can be in charge."

Fehr responded to the interview and said, "There is no doubt that the system failed to support him in his time of need, and we are part of that system."

He added that "the grave nature of this incident should have resulted in further action on our part" and the absence of a follow-up was a "serious failure."

Kaplan reported the NHLPA's executive board will vote on an outside review and that the vote could happen as early as Monday night or Tuesday morning.