Toews, Kane 'wish they could have done something differently' to help Beach
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say they wish they could have done more to help Kyle Beach, who identified himself on Wednesday as the "John Doe" at the center of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal.
"We wish we could have done something differently, myself included," Toews said, according to The Athletic's Mark Lazerus. "My heart goes out to Kyle for what he dealt with. Wish I could have done something. It's not an excuse looking back, but the truth is a lot of us were focused on just playing hockey."
The two players spoke to the media following the team's 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, hours after Beach came forward during an interview with TSN's Rick Westhead.
"Very courageous for (Beach) to come out and let his name be known to the world after everything he went (through)," Kane said, according to Lazerus. "Wish back then we could have done some different things, knew about some different things, maybe we could have helped him."
Beach was a member of the Blackhawks organization in 2010, when he says former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him during the playoffs. He said during the interview that he believes everyone in the locker room was aware of the incident.
"Word spread pretty quick," Beach said. "I do believe that everyone in that locker room knew about it. Because the comments were made in the locker room, they were made on the ice, they were made around the arena with all different people of all different backgrounds - players, staff, media in the presence."
Toews and Kane, however, suggested they were unaware at the time.
"Listen, at the end of the day, I don't wish to exonerate myself in this situation by saying I didn't know. But the truth is I had not heard about it until training camp the next year," Toews said, according to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Kane said he didn't know Beach was "John Doe" until he revealed himself Wednesday, adding that he remembered hearing "vaguely some different rumors" about why Aldrich left the team.
Toews also defended former general manager Stan Bowman and former senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, both of whom stepped down in light of an investigation into the franchise's handling of the allegations against Aldrich.
Law firm Jenner & Block determined that Bowman and MacIsaac knew Aldrich had at least allegedly sexually harassed a player and - along with other members of the management group - didn't act on the information until three weeks later after the team won the Stanley Cup.
"To me, Stan and Al, make any argument you want, they're not directly complicit in the activities that happened," Toews said. "Regardless of mistakes that may have been made, for someone like Stan, who has done so much for the Blackhawks - and Al as well - to lose everything they care about and their livelihoods, as well.
"I don't understand how that makes it go away, to just delete them from existence and (say), 'That's it, we'll never hear from them again.' I have a lot of respect for them as people. They're good people."