Grayson Berkowitz ’25 and Kai Foulidis ’25
In May of 2021, a lawsuit was filed against the Chicago Blackhawks. Kyle Beach, a former professional hockey player on the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship team, filed this lawsuit for claims of mishandling his 2010 sexual assault report.
In May of 2010, two Blackhawks players told skills Coach Paul Vincent that video Coach Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted multiple players. Vincent went straight to the General Manager, Stan Bowman, and Team President, John McDonough. He asked them to take these allegations to the Chicago Police for an investigation. Despite the request, the Chicago Blackhawks organization did not take any action against Aldrich.
A meeting later took place to determine how to handle the allegations. At that meeting, it was agreed that they would not take any further steps to address these allegations and decided to cover up the situation. As a result, the Blackhawks and Aldrich parted ways, giving him a positive employment reference for Houghton High School in Michigan.
The lawsuit was originally filed on May 7, 2021, by two former Blackhawks players on the 2010 roster. It was not until October 27, 2021, that Kyle Beach revealed that he had filed the sexual assault lawsuit against the Blackhawks. After Beach revealed that he was “John Doe” from the lawsuit, there was a spark of interest in the story. Shortly after, the Blackhawks organization hired an independent law firm to investigate the 2010 allegations. The investigation concluded that many members of the Chicago Blackhawks organization knew about the allegations.
Some of the Blackhawks players even teased Beach, using homophobic slurs. Even though many members from the 2010 Blackhawks front office and roster knew about these allegations, they failed to act on this issue. As Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks’ Head Coach at the time put it, “it was hard for the team to get to where they were, and they could not deal with this issue now.” It was believed that these allegations served as a distraction from their aspirations of winning the Stanley Cup.
The National Hockey League has made it their number one priority to address these allegations and repair the mistakes that were made during the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup run. They started off by removing Joel Quenneville from Head Coach of the Florida Panthers, as well as Stan Bowman from General Manager of the Blackhawks. The league also directed the club to offer payment for Kyle Beach’s therapy.
The NHL considered action against Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was the Blackhawk’s assistant general manager during their 2010 season. However, it was determined that Cheveldayoff was not in a position of sufficient power with the Blackhawks at the time and he was not punished. The NHL and Blackhawks organization continues to work towards making up for the lack of action taken during the 2010 Blackhawks Stanley Cup season.