Boston Bruins star Taylor Hall added his voice to those calling for change across the NHL in the wake of the sexual assault investigation surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks.
Former player Kyle Beach on Wednesday revealed he was the “John Doe” at the center of the investigation, alleging former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted and harassed him during the team’s postseason run in 2010.
Hall offered support to Beach and shared his hopes for a widespread change in hockey culture in speaking to reporters after the Bruins game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
“Our hearts go out to Kyle Beach,” Hall said. “We were playing junior at a similar time and it’s just so unfortunate that he had to go through that. We were talking about it last night. Everyone just feels terrible for him and hope that he can get some solace in the end of this.
“…Every culture needs to keep getting better and hockey’s no different. This is a game that’s a little bit of what you would call an old boy’s club. There’s definitely some secrecy and things that need to change and hopefully they can. You never want to think of an incident like this, positives coming from it because it’s been so terrible. But there needs to be changes and unfortunately people need to be held accountable.”
The fallout around the NHL began on Thursday.
Joel Quenneville, who was the Blackhawks coach in 2010, resigned as head coach of the Florida Panthers after the investigation revealed he knew about the abuse Beach endured, but told then-general manager Stan Bowman the team “could not deal with this issue” in the middle of a playoff run.
Quenneville coached the Panthers against the Bruins on Wednesday, after the investigation revealed his knowledge of the incident. Panthers general manager Bill Zito declined to comment on the decision to keep Quenneville behind the bench for that game. The former Panthers coach met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.
The Panthers have yet to reveal their interim head coach ahead of Saturday’s rematch with the Bruins.