NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met with former Blackhawks center Kyle Beach on Saturday to discuss ways to prevent further sexual misconduct within the league. Former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted Beach during the team's 2010 Stanley Cup run, and Chicago's senior staffers ignored the incident for three weeks before taking action.
The 31-year-old Beach, who came forward as "John Doe" in a lawsuit against the Blackhawks on Wednesday, is also expected to meet with NHL players' association executive director Donald Fehr over a video conference call later Saturday.
Susan Loggans, Beach's attorney, told the AP that Bettman conveyed his "sincere regret" to Beach and offered the former first-round pick the league's psychological services.
"There was discussion about what could be done in the future to assure this kind of thing did not occur again," Loggans said.
Fallout from the Blackhawks' mishandling of Beach's allegations has spread league wide. The NHL fined Chicago $2 million for its "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response" to the assault. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac both stepped down after the team's 107-page investigative report released Tuesday. Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville resigned after meeting with Bettman on Thursday, and Bettman has a meeting scheduled with Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff on Monday.
Both Quenneville and Cheveldayoff were among the senior staffers who ignored Beach's allegations during the 2010 playoffs. Quenneville was particularly complicit in burying the incident, as Bowman told investigators the 63-year-old "shook his head and said that it was hard for the team to get to where they were [the playoffs] and they could not deal with this issue now" in a meeting shortly after the allegations came to light.
"I can't believe that," Beach said of Quenneville's choice to prioritize winning over player safety. "As a human being, I cannot believe that, and I cannot accept that."