Kevin Cheveldayoff and Patrick Kane apologize, settlement talks begin as Blackhawks scandal fallout continues
“[I want to] make this a better and safer place so that there isn’t another Kyle Beach,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Tuesday.
In his first news conference since the fallout from the Blackhawks’ sexual-assault scandal, Jets general manager and former Hawks assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff apologized to Kyle Beach for the organization’s inaction in 2010.
“What Kyle went through is unacceptable and intolerable,” Cheveldayoff told reporters Tuesday in Winnipeg. “Kyle was failed by a system that should’ve helped him, but did not. I’m sorry that my own assumptions about that system were clearly not good enough.”
Cheveldayoff is the only participant in the Hawks’ now-infamous May 2010 meeting (in which Beach’s alleged assault was discussed) who remains employed by an NHL team, having been cleared of discipline by commissioner Gary Bettman.
Cheveldayoff clarified that he was pulled into the meeting late and thought the incident being discussed was “along the lines of harassment, [like] inappropriate texts, unwanted advances,” not sexual assault.
He left the meeting expecting it nonetheless would be investigated by higher-ranking Hawks executives.
He also said he recently talked to former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, a longtime leading voice for abuse victims in hockey.
“I’m fortunate that I have an opportunity to be someone that still has a chance to make a change in the game,” Cheveldayoff said. “[I want to] help grow and learn and try to make this a better and safer place so that there isn’t another Kyle Beach.”
Settlement talks begin
Hawks lawyers met with Susan Loggans, Beach’s lawyer, for about an hour to begin settlement talks regarding the still-pending lawsuit. Loggans described the meeting as “respectful and cordial” in a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It was decided that an opportunity may exist to move forward,” Loggans said. “However, both parties will confer with their clients and meet again in the near future.
“No resolution occurred today, but a positive [dialogue] has begun.”
The Hawks have requested using a third-party mediator and pausing court filings for 60 days to keep negotiations progressing.
Kane regrets comments
Patrick Kane’s comments last week after general manager Stan Bowman’s resignation and Beach’s public step forward were criticized for his defense of Bowman, whom he called a “great man” who “did a lot for me personally.”
After his return to play Monday, Kane went out of his way to apologize.
“I feel bad about the last time I talked,” he said. “Obviously, I put my personal experience with management ahead of the way Kyle was treated by them.
“[I] don’t want to diminish or overshadow anything that Kyle went through with our organization. Listen, it takes incredible courage and pride for him to come forward and deal with what he’s dealt with. We’re all thinking about him.”
Hossa’s night postponed
In a joint decision between the Hawks and Marian Hossa, his “legacy night” at the United Center — originally scheduled for next Tuesday against the Penguins — has been postponed.
“Everyone agreed that this is an important time for our organization to reflect rather than celebrate,” the Hawks said in a statement.
The Hawks signed prospect Louis Crevier to a three-year, entry-level contract with an $851,000 salary-cap hit.
Crevier, a 6-8 defensive defenseman who stuck around longer than expected in training camp in September, is playing his fourth year of junior hockey in Quebec, so his contract won’t kick in until next season.
A seventh-round pick, he’s one of several later-round Hawks selections from the 2020 draft who have significantly increased their stock in the last year. Fifth-rounder Isaak Phillips already is in the NHL, and third-rounder Wyatt Kaiser has become a star at Minnesota-Duluth.