NHL Commissioner Gary Pittman and NHL Players Association CEO Don Fehr faced tough questions Monday following the results of an independent investigation into sexual assault allegations made by former Chicago player Kyle Beach against the organization’s former video coach.
Buttman, in an hour-long conference call with the media, defended the league’s actions while saying: “We can’t be very sorry for the shock Kyle has been through and our goal is to do what is necessary to continue moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Phair was facing questions from representatives of players from the 32 teams at Monday afternoon’s executive board meeting about the NHLPA’s inaction after Beach first reported the allegations in 2010.
“I think we’re just looking to understand the situation as best we can,” Anders Lee, an islanders representative, said hours before Monday’s meeting. “I think everyone collects things and you see the reports. But to listen firsthand I think it would be really cool and have a conversation about it and see where the union could be better in the future.
Asked specifically by Newsday if there are questions regarding Fehr’s ongoing leadership of the NHLPA, Lee said, “I know there are a lot of questions that are definitely being directed at Don now, and as a group, we’re looking forward to those answers. Just to find out what’s going on and what’s going on.” There and how unfortunate this situation has become. We look forward to seeing what they have to say and going from there and making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Fehr recommended an independent investigation by outside legal counsel in order to review the NHLPA’s response. The union’s executive board will vote on this issue.
Law firm Jenner & Block last week released its report on the allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010. Beach then publicly identified himself as “John Doe” who sued Chicago alleging that Aldrich sexually assaulted and harassed him. During the team’s march to the Stanley Cup in 2010. Beach was a member of the Chicago Black Acies, bringing in minor league players to train with the group during the playoffs.
Chicago General Manager Stan Bowman, Chicago Vice President Al MacIsack and Panthers coach Joel Quinville, who coached Chicago in 2010, resigned in the wake of the report’s findings.
Chicago was also fined $2 million, a figure Pittman defended as “significant” when asked why that figure was lower than fines for NHL teams that violated salary caps or collection rules.
“The others had a different context and different realities,” Bateman said. “This was to clarify that way [Chicago] The organization that handled this matter was inappropriate.”
However, Pittman said the Chicago property led by Rocky Wirts “is not aware” of Beech’s allegations.
Buttman said Al-Douri did not see the report before October 25 and that Al-Douri’s knowledge of the situation was limited to Beach’s allegations through his lawsuit.
Chicago notified the NHL in December of the possibility of a lawsuit, but NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley said the league took no action because Chicago insisted the lawsuit was without “merit.” Chicago is still fighting Beach’s lawsuit against the organization.
However, when Bettman was asked about his thoughts as he watched Beach’s emotional interview on TSN detailing his allegations against Aldrich, he said, “My reaction was that I was horrified. He was emotional. I was upset and I knew he was clearly just suffering from While watching it and wanted to make sure we’d stay focused on how to deal with what’s now in front of us. I was sorry that anyone had to go through what he was discussing.”
Pittman also defended his decision not to penalize Gates general manager Kevin Sheffieldev, who was an assistant to GM in Chicago in 2010. Pittman said Shefeldayov, who had “limited authority” with Chicago, believed the situation was dealt with in a timely manner.