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Boston Bruins Hall: NHL’s ‘Old Boys Club’ Needs to Change

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RALEIGH, NC – Credit to Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall for being honest, empathetic and genuinely concerned about changing the culture of hockey while discussing Kyle Beach’s truly unfortunate experience with the Chicago Blackhawks that’s haunted him for the last 11 years. Beach said he was sexually assaulted by Chicago video coach Brad Aldrich leading up to the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win in 2010, and an independent report commissioned by the Blackhawks revealed that Chicago’s management essentially ignored the situation during a ghoulish tunnel vision pursuit of the Cup.

Stan Bowman resigned as the Chicago Blackhawks GM, then-Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville has stepped down as head coach of the Florida Panthers and it appears as if former Blackhawks assistant GM (and current Winnipeg Jets GM) Kevin Cheveldayoff may be in the same spot as he’s meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday.

There has been unanimous compassion for Beach, a former first round pick of the Blackhawks, as everybody in the hockey world has learned about the situation, and Hall took it one step further in a call for change in the NHL’s “old boys club.”

“Our hearts go out to Kyle Beach. We were playing junior at a similar time. It’s just so unfortunate that he had to go through that,” said Hall, following Thursday night’s 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. “We were talking about it last night and I think everyone feels terribly for him and hopes that he can get some solace at the end of this.

“Every culture needs to keep getting better and hockey is no different. This is a game that’s a little bit of a, I guess you’d call it an old boys club. There’s definitely some secrecy and some things that need to change, and hopefully they can. You never want to think an incident like this [and] positives coming from it, because it’s been so terrible. But there needs to be changes, and unfortunately people need to be held accountable.”

Clearly there are changes coming across hockey culture given the gross neglect of humanity and morality that the Blackhawks showed 11 years ago when it was time to act on Beach’s behalf, and hopefully Hall’s powerful words are prophetic when it comes to the NHL making a necessary, significant change.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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