Investigation into NHLPA director may go public with players' approval

Published April 13, 2022 at 9:20
BY BEN HODGSON
The Chicago Blackhawks and the NHLPA both share a large portion of the blame for what happened to Kyle Beach. As a "black ace" for the Blackhawks, Beach alleges that he was sexually assaulted and threatened by Brad Aldrich, a video coach working for the Hawks back in 2010. Per Beach's claims, Aldrich used his position with the Hawks, and a baseball bat, to threaten Beach and his career if he didn't do what Aldrich wanted.

Beach reported the incident to both the team and the NHLPA, but somehow the entire thing was swept under the rug by those in charge. Their negligence led to Aldrich securing a job with the University of Miami, where he assaulted a student and an intern, and a high school hockey team where he assaulted a 16-year-old boy. The entire incident is a black mark on hockey and the NHL to say the least.

When Beach came forward last year, an investigation was launched into the allegations. The 120-page report revealed, among many other things, that the NHLPA had been contacted twice by Beach for help with the issue. No help came. The organization that was put in place to help and support the players left one of their own to fend for himself in his time of greatest need. On November 4th of last year, the NHLPA voted to open an independent investigation into how the PA itself handled, or rather didn't handle, Beach's claims.

After 5 months, Toronto based law firm Cozen O'Connor is ready to present their report on the situation, and the players will vote on whether or not it should be released to the public. There are reports that many players are committed to voting for the report's release. This is information that needs to see the light of day. Sweeping things under the rug and keeping matters out of the pubic eye is exactly what lead to the situation we see before us now. It's imperative that this report is released to the public, and imperative that when it does, heads roll, starting with Donald Fehr. Otherwise, the players will have no reason to trust their own association.


Rick Westhead's story on the matter is linked below and I highly recommend reading it. Westhead and The Athletic's Katie Strang should both be hailed as heroes for their work in bringing this abhorrent miscarriage of justice to light and finally giving Kyle Beach some semblance of closure. Their work has helped to ensure that something like this never happens again in the NHL.

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