Chicago Blackhawks Settle With Kyle Beach Over Team's Handling of Sex Assault Allegations

The Chicago Blackhawks have settled a lawsuit filed by former player Kyle Beach accusing the team of covering up a sexual assault.

The amount given in the settlement has been kept confidential. It was reached after the sides met with a mediator to discuss the suit. Beach and the franchise's CEO, Danny Wirtz, participated in the meeting.

Beach sued the team alleging that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him during the team's 2010 Stanley Cup run, and that the organization tried to cover it up. An investigation commissioned by the Blackhawks backed up the former player's claims.

"The Blackhawks hope that this resolution will bring some measure of peace and closure for Mr. Beach," the team said in a statement. It was attributed to Beach's attorney, Susan Loggans and Danny and Rocky Wirtz, the latter of whom owns the team.

"As for the Blackhawks organization, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that, going forward, this team will be a beacon for professionalism, respect and integrity in our community," the statement continued. "We remain grateful for the trust and support of the Blackhawks community, and we promise to continue working every day to earn and maintain that trust."

Aldrich has pleaded guilty in the past to sexually assaulting a student at Michigan's Houghton High School, and had accusations against him during his tenure at Ohio's Miami University.

Beach currently plays with the Black Dragons Erfurt in the Oberliga, a German hockey league.

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The Chicago Blackhawks have settled a lawsuit filed by former player Kyle Beach accusing the team of covering up a sexual assault. Above, Beach during a TecArt Black Dragons Erfurt game against the Saale Bulls Halle during the Oberliga Nord game at Sparkassen-Eisdom on November 16, 2021, in Halle, Germany. Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

According to a report by Jenner & Block, the encounter between Beach, then a 20-year-old minor-leaguer called up in case the Blackhawks needed help in the playoffs, and Aldrich, then 27, occurred on May 8 or 9 in 2010.

Beach told investigators that Aldrich, a video coach at the time, threatened him with a souvenir baseball bat before forcibly performing oral sex on him and masturbating on the player's back, allegations that he also detailed in his lawsuit.

About two weeks later, on May 23, 2010, right after Chicago advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, general manager Stan Bowman, top hockey executive Al MacIsaac, team president John McDonough, executive vice president Jay Blunk and assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff met with coach Joel Quenneville and mental skills coach Jim Gary to discuss the allegations.

Former federal prosecutor Reid Schar, who led the investigation, said accounts of the meeting "vary significantly." But there was no evidence that anything was done about the accusations before McDonough contacted the team's director of human resources on June 14—a delay that violated the franchise's sexual harassment policy, according to Schar.

During those three weeks, Aldrich continued to work for and travel with the team. Schar said Aldrich also "made an unwanted sexual advance" toward a 22-year-old Blackhawks intern.

Bowman resigned in the wake of the independent review, and MacIsaac also departed the organization. McDonough, Blunk and Gary were already out of the NHL by the time the report was published.

Quenneville and Cheveldayoff met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Quenneville then resigned as Florida Panthers coach, but Cheveldayoff remained in his position as Winnipeg general manager. The league also fined Chicago $2 million.

Loggans and representatives for the Blackhawks held settlement talks in early November, meeting for about an hour. She said after those discussions that "each side had different viewpoints."

The investigation commissioned by the team found no evidence that Rocky or Danny Wirtz were aware of the allegations before Beach's lawsuit was brought to their attention ahead of its filing. Danny Wirtz in October said he had instructed team attorneys to seek "a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Representatives for the Chicago Blackhawks and a former player who sued the team over how it handled his allegations of sexual assault against an assistant coach reached a settlement on December 15, 2021. Above, the names of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks are displayed on the Stanley Cup in the lobby of the United Center during an NHL news conference on June 11, 2013, in Chicago. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File