A member of the Chicago Blackhawks dynasty has finally spoken up about the Kyle Beach situation, but what he had to say will not sit well with many.
In an appearance on the Raw Knuckles podcast on Wednesday, former Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw shared his thoughts on the sexual abuse scandal that has stained the reputation of the 2010 Stanley Cup champions.
"I have nothing bad to say about Kyle but it's a shame something like this had to go that far when it could've been nipped in the bud pretty quick, from upper management and HR; it should have nothing to do with the players and the coaching staff," Shaw said. "As a 20 year old, I would've never put myself in the situation Kyle was in.
"Obviously, I don't know what was going on with Kyle, but he put himself in a bad situation."
The conversation started with host and former NHL enforcer Chris Nilan expressing his disdain for how former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was punished for his role in the scandal.
"I think they [expletive] that guy, the NHL," Nilan said. "I think it's so wrong he's out of the game right now, or that he even had to sit out a year.
"That's a management thing and management run the show there, and they tell the coach, 'here's the deal, you focus on this team winning the Stanley Cup, you players don't say a word about it and just focus on winning.'"
Beach, the 11th overall pick of the Blackhawks in the 2008 NHL Draft, filed a lawsuit in May 2021 alleging sexual assault at the hands of former Chicago video coach Brad Aldrich during team's Stanley Cup run in 2010. According to an investigation into the matter by law firm Jenner & Block, Blackhawks management met and decided not to address the incident until after the playoffs, after which the club's human resources director gave Aldrich the option to resign or be terminated. Quenneville has said he never knew of the allegations, but according to the Jenner & Block report he was at the aforementioned meeting.
Beach told TSN "there’s absolutely no way (Quenneville) can deny knowing it." Quenneville also wrote a favorable evaluation of Aldrich following the season after the video coach had already resigned despite being aware of the allegations against him.
From the report: Joel Quenneville wrote an evaluation of Brad Aldrich on June 29, 2010, after Aldrich had already resigned from the organization. pic.twitter.com/PH05TrWNqC
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 26, 2021
Quenneville and former general manager Stan Bowman stepped away from their respective jobs when news of the lawsuit broke. Quenneville will reportedly meet with Gary Bettman following the playoffs to review his status with the league.
While Shaw was not with the Blackhawks when they won the Cup in 2010, he did play — and live — with Beach in their time together with the Rockford Icehogs, Chicago's AHL affiliate.
"I lived with Kyle in Rockford, he was great to me, he helped me pay rent in my first two months, and he paid for my groceries for a couple weeks until I got a paycheque in me," Shaw added.
Shaw would go on to win the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015. He played in 544 career NHL games over 10 seasons split between Chicago and the Montreal Canadiens, accumulating 116 goals, 247 points and 573 penalty minutes. The Belleville, Ont., native retired in February 2021 after doctors advised him to stop playing due to an accumulation of concussions in his career.