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Kyle Beach agrees to mediation with Blackhawks; settlement talks back on

Two weeks after talks seemed to break down, the sides will meet in December for mediation involving Beach’s sexual-assault lawsuit against the Hawks.

Former Blackhawks forward Kyle Beach, now playing in Germany, has agreed to mediation in settlement talks.
Martin Rose/Getty Images

CALGARY, Alberta — Settlement talks between the Blackhawks and Kyle Beach are back on.

Beach and his lawyer, Susan Loggans, have agreed to mediation with the team.

The Hawks had been pushing for mediation as a preferred resolution method for weeks, but Loggans initially had pushed back against it. Now, non-binding mediation is scheduled to begin Dec. 15.

‘‘We are working together to achieve a fair resolution of both cases outside of the litigation process,’’ Loggans and Hawks lawyers said in a joint statement Tuesday. ‘‘To that end, we have agreed to enter mediation with a mutually agreed upon third-party mediator . . . and will engage in good-faith efforts to resolve these matters.’’

Beach’s lawsuit alleges information also found by the Jenner & Block investigation that former Hawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him in May 2010 and that Hawks leadership at the time covered it up.

The two sides’ first attempt at settlement talks broke down in ugly fashion this month after Loggans presented an initial financial demand the Hawks deemed ‘‘extraordinary.’’ They refused to respond with their own initial offer.

Hawks lawyers wrote in a letter Nov. 11 that it seemed ‘‘clear to us that we will be unable to resolve these differences through lawyer-to-lawyer discussions alone,’’ and Loggans told the Sun-Times she was ‘‘disgusted’’ by the Hawks’ lack of ‘‘fair play.’’

But after Loggans’ court motion Nov. 12 again requesting that the lawsuit be allowed to progress to the discovery stage — in spite of the Hawks’ still-pending motion to dismiss — was denied by a judge Thursday, her options became more limited.

The joint nature of the statement Tuesday is telling. It’s one of the first signs of the sides working together after months of contention.