The independent investigation commissioned by the National Hockey League Players Association (AJLNH) and carried out by the law firm Cozen O’Connor into the sexual assaults alleged by former Chicago Blackhawks skater Kyle Beach in the location of then-video coach Brad Aldrich demonstrated that no individual or association was responsible for wrongdoing in this story.
It is rather a lack of communication and a misunderstanding which would explain the lack of reactions of the AJLNH in this file at the time.
The law firm added in its report that it had interviewed 11 people, in addition to having checked thousands of emails and telephone records, but that the time that had elapsed since the charges, coupled with the lack of documentation and the inability to go through Beach interview or the second complainant, whose anonymity is still preserved, are factors that have limited the progress of the investigation.
“In short, after a thorough examination of contemporary records, the policies and practices put in place at the union at that time, and the recollections of all parties in contact with the Players Association or the Substance Abuse and behavioral health of the NHL, we are unable to identify any individual wrongdoing or breach of institutional policy, whether [du directeur exécutif Donald Fehr]Players’ Association staff, or the NHL’s Addiction and Behavioral Health Program, in the Kyle Beach case, » the report read.
Although the nearly 20-page report was delivered to each player representative from each roster on April 8, the Players Association voted to release the findings of the investigation on Thursday and the report was released on the following day.
In addition, a list of recommendations would have been given by the law firm to the Players Association in order to prevent a similar situation from happening again in the future, but the list in question was not disclosed.
A lack of evidence
A phone call made by Beach’s then-agent, Ross Gurney, to Fehr in 2010 is believed to be at the heart of the dispute. Gurney reportedly called Fehr in 2010, when Aldrich was given a coaching role with Hockey USA.
Gurney would recall using the term « paedophile » or « sex predator » at the time, while Fehr would have no recollection of such a call. Joe Resnick, the anonymous player’s agent in this case, would have even sent an email to Fehr referring to this call from his counterpart, without revealing the details, but Fehr had not responded to this email.