October 28, 2021 – We now know that former 11th overall pick Kyle Beach was John Doe in the sexual assault cover up by Black Hawk management back 2010 that led to other victims before Brad Aldrich, a video coach, was finally charged by police after assaulting a high school student.
While the minutiae of the case is a read, the bottom line is that instead of calling police on Aldrich he was allowed to resign to avoid an investigation.
He was allowed to even stay on the job, get his name on Lord Stanley’s Cup, take said cup out for a day and participate in cup events before his resignation kicked into high gear.
For ten years staff and players stuffed the incident under the rug. His own teammates bullied and verbally abused Beach and after having his best season of hockey with 52 goals and over 200 penalty minutes his career tail spun and the Hawks lost a valuable asset.
In the meanwhile all of the management and head coach Joel Quenneville kept earning their salaries. NHLPA head Don Fehr also earned his salary too as Beach was essentially cut loose to toil away in the minors, and then in Europe surviving and trying to earn his living in the game as best he could.
There are clear choices that many made. Would they have been the same if Jonathan Toews had been assaulted instead of Beach? It’s been quoted in the very light report published of the investigation LINK that essentially the team chose to focus on the Stanley Cup than protect their player(s).
Those choices made by team management and staff are not unique. The Blackhawks are not the first corporation to have incidents of this nature. They are not the first corporation that didn’t follow their own published guidelines on sexual misconduct and not follow them.
But Gary Bettman has to go full Blacksox on this mess BECAUSE of the choices made by too many in hockey AFTER the incident. The lies, denials, and legal speak made things worse for the victim and other potential victims. The behavior of those that made choices enabled a predator to injure other victims.
But to Kyle Beach, who just gave out his first big interview on this LINK with Rick Westhead, there is no justice as you can’t fix what happened to him and his career. Even now, as the story is coming out he has to relive it just to see a tiny bit of justice.
Each and every party involved has to be removed from the game. If Pete Rose can be banned from Baseball for gambling this surely is more grave for a multitude of reasons.
Stan Bowman has resigned, but Joel Quenneville is still coaching. Kevin Chevaldayoff is still GM in Winnipeg and Marc Bergevin is still GM in Montreal. Should Jonathan Toews wear the C on any jersey? Should Donald Fehr be at the top of a union that supposedly protects its members?
There’s a lot of hypocrisy and petty evil related to this case. But the true future of hockey is at stake. Nothing can really be done to repair this damage, but enough has to be done so the choices that others make in the future are really clear and that what could happen if wrong choices are made are clear too.
As someone that worked with young NHL players in the day, they are just big kids playing a kids game. They needed to be nurtured and protected. They still do. Kyle Beach wasn’t and the entire game suffered for that.