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‘Good Amount Of Frustration’ With NHLPA From Boston Bruins

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BRIGHTON, Mass – The Boston Bruins made a point of watching Kyle Beach’s heart-wrenching interview on TSN as a team last week, at the suggestion of captain Patrice Bergeron and head coach Bruce Cassidy. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo used words like “powerful” to describe the visceral, emotional reaction that the team experienced while watching Beach recount both the assault and the denial that it happened by so many in the 11 years following his horrifying experience with the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Butch and Bergie had a little discussion and I think it was a great thing for all of us to do. It was very courageous for [Beach] to do all of this and he’s not doing it for no reason,” said Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. “He’s doing it to put a stop to things like this, and once you see it, you see the emotion involved with it. You realize that things like this do happen, and his message was very clear that ‘you don’t have to be alone in this.’ It was very powerful, but also very hard to watch.”

And the determination was made in the room that the Boston Bruins wanted answers from the NHLPA for any role they played in denying Beach the justice and sympathetic ear that he most definitely deserved.

So the NHLPA, with Carlo as the Boston Bruins rep for the players’ union, had a conference call with NHLPA Director Donald Fehr on Monday, and there will be an independent investigation into where the players union went wrong with assisting the former Blackhawks prospect.

“Overall, I thought it was a good discussion. The other day here in the morning we thought it was a responsibility that we all wanted to watch the interview with Kyle Beach together. I think he was trying to display a message for all of us to speak up and have a lot of courage in doing so,” said Carlo. “It was obviously very powerful, and it affected all of us in a way that you could tell. I just want to commend him on his courage first and foremost.

“Then it kind of transitions into us feeling a responsibility in the players association to further investigate the knowledge and information that was given to certain people, who didn’t act accordingly in regard to making more of an effort to stand up for Kyle.”

So what was the emotion with regard to the NHLPA before and after the phone call with the other reps? Curiosity? Anger? Frustration?

“I would say all of those words are pretty good. There was a good amount of frustration questioning what was going on, and the responsibility that we want it known that there’s more of an investigation to further review how things were handled,” said Carlo. “I think that will be accomplished and that’s very important to the players at this point. To make sure things are handled correctly and accordingly moving forward, and also to get the knowledge out there of who was involved in all of this.

“Personally, I think everything will be reviewed. Some guys will be passionate and strongly motivated in ways and frustrated by the way things were handled. There’s also the other side of things where you really need to gain all the information you can before making a rash decision.”

It remains to be seen where the NHLPA investigation is going to be lead, but there have been multiple reports that both NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and an NHLPA doctor, were aware of the details behind Brad Aldrich’s assault of Beach. And that nothing was done about it from the players association end of things, which is extremely problematic at best and at worst grounds for some meaningful changes within the NHLPA.

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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