Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Joel Quenneville Speaks On Kyle Beach Scandal For First Time, Reveals Proximity To Events

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Though the Blackhawks have endured plenty of news and revelations since the details of the Kyle Beach sexual assault case were released in 2021, much of the information around the case and cover-up has been hidden from the public. On Tuesday, however, former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville appeared on an episode of “The Cam & Strick Podcast” featuring former NHL player Cam Janssen and reporter Andy Strickland. For the first time, Quenneville spoke on the details surrounding his involvement in the scandal and his desire to get back to coaching in the NHL.

A sexual assault on Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach by former video coach Brad Aldrich allegedly occurred in 2010 but was covered up until the details were released in October of 2021 by Jenner & Block, who conducted the investigation into the events and published a report of their findings.

Though the report stated that Quenneville initially learned of the scandal in a meeting not long after it occurred, the NHL’s second-winningest coach of all time contends that he didn’t have any knowledge of it until the report was released.

“First time I heard anything about sexual assault, sexual abuse (was) on my way to the commissioner’s office (2 years ago). … I blame myself, that meeting, that I didn’t push the envelope to find out the level of seriousness. I wasn’t informed what had took place.”

– Joel Quenneville

Quenneville went on to explain that he was merely informed of the events of the scandal, without any specifics of the allegations. After the report came out, the coach was sent to meet with Commissioner Gary Bettman, and the two mutually decided it was best that he would step away from the game.

Quenneville took some responsibility for not asking more questions when he first learned of the issue and also says he reached out to Beach after a lengthy period of time. Still, the 65-year-old bench boss says he didn’t expect his time away from the game to be as long as it has.

“I think I deserve the chance to coach again.”

– Joel Quenneville

He went on to mention that he has a “list” of around ten teams who may be interested in his services this summer. There’s no question his experience as a successful, proven coach at the NHL level is a rarity, so it isn’t a stretch to imagine that a few teams may at least reach out. While Quenneville claims he didn’t have enough knowledge of the events as they unfolded, his return to the NHL may be more difficult than he expects. He may not have directly been involved in the scandal, but his name will still be tied to it, a fact that won’t be lost on GMs around the league.

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