NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2021

by | Oct 28, 2021 | News, NHL | 42 comments

Kyle Beach identified himself as one of the victims in the Blackhawks’ scandal, the ongoing fallout from the investigation, plus game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach stepped forward as the player at the center of the investigation into allegations of sexual assault by former video coach Bradley Aldrich.

Kyle Beach (right) speaks with Rick Westhead (TSN.CA).

In an emotional 25-minute interview with Rick Westhead, Beach expressed relief and vindication that “it was no longer my word against everybody else’s,” adding it was “very special and important to me to have that truth come out yesterday”.

Beach recalled what happened to him after the abuse by Aldrich, the Blackhawks’ organization’s efforts to cover up the incident and its subsequent denials. “They said they did an investigation, they said my claims were meritless. To me, I took that as them saying to the world that I was a liar, that I was lying,” said Beach.

He singled out the role of then-head coach Joel Quenneville in the club’s handling of the incident. Quenneville said in a statement this summer that he has no prior knowledge of Beach’s claims at the time until he heard about it through the media.

Multiple players with the Blackhawks at that time also subsequently made the same claim. “I believe everyone in the locker room knew about it,” said Beach.

He also voiced his disappointment over the NHLPA’s lack of action when he informed them of the details. He believed two different people spoke with PA director Donald Fehr. “And for him to turn his back on the players when his one job is to protect the players at all cost, I don’t know how that can be your leader,” he said.

Beach said he stepped forward in part because, while the report referred to him as “John Doe”, the details made it possible to figure out his identity. He indicated it was also part of his recovery as a survivor of sexual assault. He also wants to bring about change within the NHL to assure this never happens again.

The NHL has let me down and they’ve let other down too. And they continue to try to protect their name,” said Beach. “I hope through and through that (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman takes this seriously and that he does his due diligence.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve noted what I felt were key highlights from Beach’s interview. I encourage everyone to follow the above link for the video interview and the full transcript.

Beach was very brave to come forward with his story. It was heartbreaking watching him recount what happened, at one point breaking down in tears and expressing sorrow for not doing more to protect Aldrich’s subsequent victim. He did nothing wrong and yet he still felt remorse that he didn’t do more.

Kyle Beach was failed by the Blackhawks at every level. Only a handful of people, including former teammates Nick Boynton and Brent Sopel, former associate coach John Torchetti and former skills coach Paul Vincent, stood by him. He endured over 11 years of trauma before finally receiving a measure of justice. Everyone involved in make his life hell for over a decade bear full responsibility for what they didn’t do to help him and for what they did to cover it up.

The release of the investigation’s findings and Beach’s interview are not the end of this story. The repercussions are ongoing and will be long-lasting, leading hopefully to positive change that ensures no player ever faces what Beach did.

TSN: The Blackhawks released a statement following Beach’s interview expressing “deepest apologies” for what he went through and the organization’s failure to properly respond when he brought the matter to light. The statement laid the blame on former team executives.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apologies and buck-passing don’t cut it. Try again.

NHLPA director Donald Fehr also issued an apology to Beach, acknowledging his courage in telling his story and admitting the system (of which the PA is a part) failed him. Fehr indicated the person Beach spoke with at the NHLPA was one of the program doctors in the player assistance program. While confidential between players and doctors, Fehr said the “grave nature of this incident should have resulted in further action on our part.” He also said the PA is committed to making changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Action speaks louder than words, Mr. Fehr.

Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews told reporters last night they wished they knew more about what happened to Beach so they could’ve done more to help him. They said they didn’t he was the John Doe in the investigation until he came forward yesterday. Kane commended Beach for his courage in telling his story while Toews said he didn’t know about the allegations until training camp in 2010-11.

Both players also commented on Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman stepping down and senior VP of hockey operations Al MacIsaac being relieved of his duties. Kane considered it “necessary” and “the right moves” but also called Bowman “a great man who did a lot of things for me personally”. Toews felt they weren’t directly responsible for what happened and still had a lot of respect for them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus said in response to those remarks, I get why Kane and Toews are remaining loyal to those who played a big role in their lives and careers but heaping praise on those two isn’t a great look.

Former Blackhawks head coach and current Florida Panthers bench boss Joel Quenneville stood by his statement to investigators that he first learned of the allegations through the media this summer. He’s slated to meet with commissioner Bettman in New York today. Quenneville was behind the bench for the Panthers’ 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins last night and didn’t speak to the media following the game.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre reports Jets ownership is supporting general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who will be meeting with Bettman in New York on Monday. Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks assistant general manager in 2010 and was named in the report as part of the group of Blackhawks executives who met to discuss the allegations in May 2010.

In his statement, Cheveldayoff said he was first made aware of the allegations during that meeting. He believed a decision was reached by his superiors to have the hockey operations people deal with the on-ice production while they would handle the Aldrich allegations.

McIntyre reports Jets chairman and co-owner Mark Chipman will travel to New York with Cheveldayoff on Monday. Short of new evidence emerging or Bettman lowering the boom, McIntyre expected Cheveldayoff will keep his job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know what Bettman has in store for Quenneville and Cheveldayoff. Many on social media are calling for their firings or at least suspension.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers extended their record to 7-0-0 by defeating the Boston Bruins 4-1. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for the win while Gustav Forsling collected three assists.

Cam Atkinson scored two goals and Carter Hart kicked out 34 shots as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3, snapping the latter’s five-game season-opening win streak. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin tallied in overtime as his club overcame a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied for the Capitals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs also rallied from 2-0 to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. William Nylander scored in overtime for the Leafs. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews came out of COVID-19 protocol yesterday and played in this game.

An overtime goal by Evgenii Dadonov lifted the Vega Golden Knights to a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Jonathan Marchessault scored late in the third for Vegas to send the game into the extra frame.


TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov is expected to miss the next eight-to-10 weeks following surgery for a lower-body injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will miss the next two months with a bruised knee while Sean Walker suffered season-ending ligament tears in his right knee that will require surgery.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Blake Wheeler has returned to practice after 10 days in isolation as per NHL COVID protocols.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban received a $5,000.00 fine by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip against Calgary Flames winger Milan Lucic on Tuesday.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin is expected to be named GM of the USA Men’s Olympic Hockey Team at the 2022 Beijing Games.


  1. Bruins need better players and someone who can stop the puck.

    • Tukka Rask

  2. same old thing from me….. this Bruins team isn’t that good they should’ve address the 2nd line center situation it will be a problem area all season along with the 3rd & 4th line that bring nothing……Carolina tonight will be a problem

    • When you see players like Kuhlman and Blidh even playing in the nhl you know you are in trouble. Seeing that game lastnight outplayed, putclassed I don’t think the bruins are capable of winning against The Panthers or Canes it just looks out of Reach. I’m beginning to think Ullmark was a waste of a signing.

      • Bruins need to get down with the greatest of all New England traditions…. Cheating

    • They did. They inserted Coyle. Only problem was with 3 wingers injured, Coyle had to play wing.
      Man, I wish they could go 82-0 too, but when facing a club like Fla, and Bob making no less than 8 high danger saves, thing will no always go in our favor.
      Carolina will be a problem tonight, for certain. They are an excellent club with an excellent goalie.
      Hope for the best, but expect the same results.

  3. That Chicago quagmire sounds eerily like what has been revealed in the top echelons of the Canadian military! Cover-ups, denial, buck-passing – anyone found to have knowledge of the events and who did zilch about it should be canned. Not suspended – but fired outright. Including the NHLPA.

    • Completely agree George.

      Also, is this an isolated incident? Has this happened in any other hockey clubs?

      • FD, I’m sure it has. And not just in hockey but in all team sports throughout the world. Evidence of that has also been established in organizations like the Boy Scouts.

  4. Kyle Beach…. Very Brave and emotional post/interview. It was moving and poignant. Blackhawks response was obviously carefully crafted…. They’ve fired (he stepped down before being fired… let’s be honest) Bowman, so moves warranted…. Let’s see how this goes from here…. A long way to go IMHO

    Beach made it clear that he truly believed all teammates knew as everybody was talking about it on ice and in dressing room….. not good

    Beach was asked what he’d like to say to John Doe 2…. Kyle actually said he was sorry that he didn’t do more…. Holy crap…. He’s apologetic … and BlackHawks buried this??????

    Good on ya Kyle….. all the best for your future

  5. Quenneville is full of chit. He was well aware of the incident but chose to focus on winning. If I cluck up at work, there are consequences. Depending on the seriousness of those consequences, I could be fired. Now, I hate to see anyone have thier bread & butter taken away from them but, In this instance…Quenneville has to go.

    I also can’t see how two fellow rookies (at the time) were not aware of another fellow rookie being sexually assaulted in the same room. The smallest thing can happen in some/most environments at work and let me tell you…everyone finds out about it.
    This is just my opinion of course and I’m entitled to it.

    • FD, no need to worry about Quenneville’s bread and butter. He could not work another day in his life and still have enough bread and butter to last till the end of his days.
      If you’re referring to Kane and Toews, they were not rookies at the time. The season in question was their 3rd in the NHL.

    • Yesterday I said I would reserve judgment on those other than the ones already fired and the findings of the investigation. Which was somewhat limited.
      Coach Q – not going to throw out a punishment suggestion, as I have no idea what is appropriate, but wow. Dick.
      Chevvy, still don’t know enough to pass judgement IMO.
      Players, no idea who knew what. To me it seems that if some knew, most would, but not a sure thing. Tough to square, but fact is, we don’t know.

      Perhaps Boynton could tell us who he spoke to about it. If he doesn’t I get that to.

    • I agree and JQ should be fired and never be eligible for a job in the NHL again. The cancel culture is hammering the Panthers front office to fire JQ in this case I don’t think Q can survive.

  6. Leafs……phhhhhhhheeeeeeewww….. down 2-0…. to the BlackHawks (that have been terrible this year)…. brutal defensive plays; arguments on the bench…..And I was worried…… but a win is a win though 😁😁👍👍. Take this win and build on it. I still say that Bolts end up ahead of Leafs; and I don’t see (as at now) Leafs near Panthers at seasons end…. So goal is to finish ahead of Bruins (logic has me confident in Wings and Sabres eventually sliding) as I’m not confident 4th Atl ends higher than 5th Metro

    Panthers…. another win….. just strolling along …. Very impressed

    Oil/Flyers… a lowly 2 points for McD…. LOL. Oil fans , was it me or do you think that refs ignored at least two hooks and a trip infractions by Flyers on McD?? Koskinen should have had goal number 4. The EN review…. So weird…. The blue line cam view looked definitively off-side; but the high level cam made it look much different . No matter what…. Hart was difference maker in the game

  7. The Chicago situation is the start of a bush fire for the NHL because it cannot be an isolated issue. The lack of transparency, i.e., outright lying, by Hawks personnel is also troubling. Hard to believe what Kane and Toews say and Toews seems to feel sorry for those now resigned, which makes him look idiotic. If I owned the Panthers and the Jets, both Quenneville and Chevy would be toast.

  8. If I own the Panthers and jets: goodbye to Joel and Kevin

  9. Bye bye to Joel and Kevyn…no team owner should let them stay.

  10. Isn’t Bill Guerin currently being investigated for playing a role in covering up a sexual assault? What is wrong with USA hockey?

    • because like the NHL, it’s the old boys club, and are way behind in the times

      there are many qualified executives who could be the USA team GM. They named Bowman as their GM AFTER the initial report came out regarding the scandal.
      After Bowman resigned, they are now naming Guerin, even though it’s public knowledge about the lawsuit against Guerin and the Penguins about them knowing about their former employee sexually harassing another former employee’s wife.

      do these execs not keep up with this information, or are they just naive that everything will be swept under the rug?

      • Maybe there is no merit to claims made by this former Pens coach? innocent until proven guilty? Maybe, just maybe, “these execs” are trying to not ruin someone’s career until all the facts have been heard?

  11. What a sad example of winning at all costs.Management lying about who dealt with this particular incident during a Stanley Cup run.Hat s off to the people who stuck by this 20 yr old kid.Would like to know of the names of players who teased the kid after they found out.Gutless,makes me really dislike the Black Hawks.Apoor representative of the original six.

    • Agree, there was a “win at all cost” or some inconvenience to the team mentally.

      I get if your bosses tell you to focus on your job and they would deal with this makes me wonder how this guy got that job, I think with a rec, making anyone who knew what was going on 100% responsible for the high school victim, someone who wouldn’t of been a victim if not for the hawks cover up.

  12. I wonder if the Beach assault coverup would be ongoing if Aldrich hadn’t been sentenced to nine months in jail and five years probation on criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from his alleged involvement with a high school player.

  13. The situation is Chicago, is nothing new. PennState & Univ. Michigan, MSU and Gymnastics, all show that organizations will put winning over human decency and doing the right thing. I am not one to call for people to lose their jobs, but when it takes this long and then there is a CYA attitude, well there needs to beom a message.

    I remember several years ago the Sheldon Kennedy situation and the NHL coming forward and saying this and that. Condemning the whole issue with sex abuse and we all have to do better.

    Well, NHL, NHLPA, Chicago Black Hawks, Wirtz family, Stan Bowman, McDounagh, coach Q, Chevy, and other in the mngmt position you failed, miserably.

    Bettman as Head of NHL should take heat.
    Fehr as Head of NHLPA should take heat
    Coach Q if he knew, should be fired.
    Bowman resigned before being fired.
    Wirtz’s as owners should know what goes on in their busy, especially something like this incident. Hell Aldrich got a ring and a day with the cup. If they did not know, well they either did not the right people in place or were hands off owners, which i do not believe they are.

    Whether players knew or not, do not know, hard to believe they did not. But Until there is proof they did, can not find guilt.

    And what do these people say to the kid who Aldrich sexually assaulted in Michigan? Sorry we were trying to win a cup, Our Bad!

    In the end the only one apologizing is Beach, and that is what makes this all the sadder.

    In the end, this is just what you get when winning and the lust for a championship at all costs.

    • I’ll just agree with what you said.

      If I say it in my own words, my comment would for sure be deleted (and rightfully so) because it would be filled with some pretty nasty stuff.

  14. FireJoelQuenneville.com

    Fire KevyanChevaldayoff.com

    Two scumbags, especially Q for lying … drunk driving scumbag

    • Yes, indeed. If Bill Peters and others lost their jobs for racist remarks made more than 10 years ago, these enablers should face at minimum the same consequences for letting these disgusting actions go to the point they did.
      It’s all quite tragic and horrifying that any of this could take place.
      Have we all forgotten about and failed to learn from poor Sheldon Kennedys life?
      We are obligated to protect the vulnerable as a society.
      Fehr, Bettman, Queenville, Chevy, Bowman et all, need to be removed from the league.
      This is a truly sad day for hockey.

      • Agreed Shore

  15. I wade into the Chicago news reluctantly, as the Hawks royally failed Beach. Justice demands accountability. Bowman was close enough to the top to be accountable for his failure to ensure Beach was supported.

    But how far down the line does this go? This is an important question, I believe. Was Quenneville as a coach responsible for management’s failure? If you say yes, because he knew and had a moral responsibility, ok. But if the players knew, are they also responsible? If the players knew, the trainers knew, as they are in the dressing room too. Do players and trainers get fired as well?

    Emotion is understandable. But it shouldn’t drive the bus. I read a quote yesterday from a woman who wrote a book on abuse in sports. She wants Bettman fired. Not that I ever thought I would defend Bettman, but this is an example of emotion not helping a bad situation.

    I admit that I don’t have an opinion as to whose failure requires dismissal. I, like the rest of us, don’t have the facts. But surely justice calls for holding those in charge who failed to do their job accountable. It doesn’t call for firing a blunderbuss and taking out everyone in sight. That isn’t justice, it’s vengeance.

    • LJ, i agree – if Generals in the military can pay the price for sexual offenses, then throw the book at ANY in the hockey world who are found in breach of trust for knowing but evading the issue. Now that Beach has opened the door to this s*&t-hole, others will begin to open up.

      • A ugly but necessary step if required George.

        Thanks Ray.

    • Well said LJ.
      Thanks for wading in.

    • My question to you is this, yes emotion can not drive the bus, but what do you say to the parent of the kid Aldrich molested in Michigan? If the proper actions were taken by a group, BlackHawks, NHL or NHLPA maybe there could have been an investigation by the proper authorities and maybe if he was guilty then they could have stopped this guy from praying upon others, as it appears he did. That is not emotion that is common sense. Again with the church and the problems there, different College sports programs and as has been stated the Canadian army (sorry do not know enough about this situation) it comes down to win at all cost and optics and not looking bad.

      • Michael:

        I agree with you. Beach and his parents have every right to be hurt, angry and to state justice was not done. That Aldrich might have abused a second person after Beach would be another reprehensible consequence of bungling by the Hawks.

        My point is simply this: which Hawks? Let’s get that right.

  16. Sure, Kane and Toews didn’t know anything about what happened. Bet they closed their ears when they entered the locker room and never participated in any talk inside the locker room or on the ice with teammates. Good of them to praise Bowman – it all falls in line with their character. So sad.

  17. Most of the following is just a copy and paste from what I wrote yesterday. In my humble opinion it is worth repeating. I will add however that Kane and Toews need to be added to the list of liars. Once again just my humble opinion. I noticed that Beach never did get to play in the NHL. I wonder why? This is from yesterday – Every single person on the team at that time and all coaches and staff should be barred from the game for life….period. They all allowed this young man’s life to be ruined and possibly his hockey career. How much bigger does this story have to get in order for some heads to really start rolling. 107 page document with over 139 people interviewed and personnel like Bowman are “allowed to step down”. He and the rest of those jerks should be arrested for being an accessory-after-the-fact. A terrible crime was committed and everyone just gets to walk away.

    • I do believe, Obstruction of Justice applies to the people at fault here.
      Folks need to be charged accordingly.

  18. A shining example of all the darkest human foibles.
    Vanity, arrogance, stupidity.
    By providing the creep with a work reference the Blackhawks are exposed to lawsuits of aiding a “suspected” criminal for any like crimes . We haven’t heard the last on that issue.
    How stupid could one be , don’t they have a legal dept. ?
    As Beach said the worst thing was his abandonment by teammates , union ,and Blackhawks organization .
    The paper trail should be easy to establish, all those complicit should be offered the chance to resign from current positions involving the NHL ..terminations with cause to follow.
    The Blackhawks then stripped of the 2010 championship their plaque removed from the trophy, all associated paraphanalia ,rings etc. returned, the current championship banner replaced with something appropriate to remind all the dusty fools who follow that shame lives in this house and the truth will find you. Does Bettman have cajones … the governors will need to wade in on this one.
    That punishment will be a notice to the world and not soon forgotten.
    And yet there is light.
    The brave few who offered empathy and support to Beach are the heroes .

  19. I don’t think this has anything to do with the culture of hockey or the culture of winning at all costs and everything to do with power dynamics and abuse of people who would do anything to succeed ergo easy victims.

    It isn’t exclusive to Church, Hollywood, Hockey, Michigan U wrestling, Olympic athletics or any individual abuser.

    Predators always have and always will exist, they find their prey one way or another and they use their place in the power dynamic to ensure survival…..till they can’t.

    I’m not condoning or defending so don’t go there.

    • Very true HF30, I think Francis posted that Aldrich was a little guy and Beach a big guy who could have easily pounded the little freak to a pulp.
      But he didn’t. For the exact reason you mention, it’s about power and Beach believed this guy had the power to end his dream of playing in the NHL.

      Sad story.

    • What I find missing is the agent and his role in all this. Are they not there to guide these young players and look after their interests. It seems to me the agent would have been in all of this.