CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks have settled a lawsuit by a former Everett Silvertips player who said he was sexually assaulted by an assistant coach during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup title run.
After representatives for the Blackhawks and former first-round pick Kyle Beach met Wednesday with a mediator for the first time, they announced that the session had resulted in a confidential settlement.
“The Blackhawks hope that this resolution will bring some measure of peace and closure for Mr. Beach,” the team said in a statement attributed to owner Rocky Wirtz, son and team chairman Danny Wirtz, and Susan Loggans, Beach’s attorney.
“As for the Blackhawks organization, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that, going forward, this team will be a beacon for professionalism, respect and integrity in our community. We remain grateful for the trust and support of the Blackhawks community, and we promise to continue working every day to earn and maintain that trust.”
Loggans also is part of a second lawsuit filed in May by a former high school student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan. There was no word in the joint statement about that suit.
The Blackhawks said as late as mid-May that Beach’s allegations lacked merit. But an independent review, commissioned by the team and released in October, showed the organization badly mishandled Beach’s allegations that he was assaulted by Aldrich during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup run. Aldrich told investigators the encounter was consensual.
The fallout included top executives losing their jobs in Chicago and stretched to other teams, including Florida, where veteran coach Joel Quenneville — the coach of the Blackhawks at the time — resigned. The NHL fined Chicago $2 million.
Loggans and attorneys for the Blackhawks held settlement talks in early November, meeting for about an hour. She said after those discussions that “each side had different viewpoints.”
The investigation commissioned by the team found no evidence that Rocky or Danny Wirtz were aware of the allegations before Beach’s lawsuit was brought to their attention ahead of its filing. Danny Wirtz in October said he had instructed team attorneys to seek “a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances.”
Beach had a controversial tenure in Everett from 2005-2009, which culminated in his trade to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Beach still ranks as the Silvertips’ career leader in penalty minutes with 528.