Donald Fehr, NHLPA executive director, recommended that the union hire an outside law firm to conduct an independent review of how it handled Kyle Beach's sexual assault allegations against Brad Aldrich, Chicago Blackhawks' then-video coach.
Fehr suggested the idea to the approximately 80 NHLPA players who were listening to a conference call Monday. The NHLPA executive board is composed of one representative from each team and will vote on whether or not to conduct a review. This vote will be held Monday night or Tuesday morning.
ESPN sources said that the call lasted over two hours and that Fehr was not discussed as an executive director.
ESPN spoke with a player who said that the boys called the call to get more information. "We must see all the details before we can make decisions about the next steps."
The call was set up Monday by players who wanted to know more about the role of the NHLPA and how it could better support Beach, a former Blackhawks player who in 2010 reported that Aldrich had sexually assaulted him during playoff play.
The Blackhawks didn't address the allegations until after their playoffs. According to an investigation report by the Blackhawks, which was released last week, Fehr also became aware of the allegations by Beach's confidants in December 2010. Beach was referred by the league's behavioral and substance abuse program. Fehr stated last week that the system "failed to support [Beach] when he needed it."
Beach however saw it differently.
Beach stated that he knew that he reported every detail to the NHLPA. He was then put in touch with him." Beach spoke with TSN. I believe Don Fehr was contacted by two people. He would turn his back to the players, when his only job is to protect them at all cost. I don't understand how that could be your leader. I don't understand how he can lead.
The situation was viewed by many league players as similar. Beach did not play in an NHL game. However, the incident happened while Beach was a "Black Ace", a minor league player called up to the playoffs. He was therefore a member of the NHLPA.
One player representative told ESPN that the NHLPA knew nothing about Kyle Beach's trauma for nine years and did not help him in any way. After the second call, they stopped speaking to him."
Monday's call was answered by another player who wanted to know: "How did [Beach] get on an island?"