By Brian Jeffers ‘22
During the playoffs in 2010, Kyle Beach brought sexual assault and harassment allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich for the Chicago Blackhawks. Beach went 11th overall in the first round of the 2008 NHL draft. Beach filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks organization for his sexual abuse.
Years down the road, this didn’t just affect the Chicago Blackhawks organization, this affected many more. Former Blackhawks coach Joe Quenneville was fired from his Head Coach position at the Florida Panthers because of what happened to Beach in 2010 while Quennville was the Blackhawks head coach at the time.
This didn’t just happen to Quennville, but also to general manager for the Winnipeg Jets Kevin Cheveldayoff. On the other hand, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president Al MacIsaac both stepped down from the Blackhawks Organization for the time being.
Beach told TSN, “I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more. My girlfriend and I, we didn’t really know how to feel, we didn’t really know how to think.”
At the time of the incident, Beach was coming up on his second year with the Blackhawks and was still the new guy. Beach didn’t know what was right from wrong; he was shocked by what happened.
Beach first told former Blackhawks skill coach Paul Vincent about his sexual assault during the team’s playoff series against the San Jose Sharks. Vincent then reported Beach’s claims to the front office, but Aldrich remained with the team through its Stanley Cup run before his eventual resignation. Aldrich even had a day with the cup before leaving the organization.
Beach buried the secret of his assault for 11 years, but it was far from a secret to the Blackhawks organization.
Beach said, “I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark.” Coming from a 20 year old, this was very tough especially by somebody who is supposed to be there to help you and make you a better hockey player.