NHLPA investigation clears Don Fehr of fault in handling Beach allegations

A Toronto law firm hired to investigate NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr’s response to concerns raised by two agents about former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach’s alleged sexual assault concluded it couldn’t identify any individual wrongdoing or institutional failures by Fehr or his union colleagues.

In a 20-page report published Friday afternoon, investigators with the Toronto law firm Cozen O’Connor wrote that concerns raised in 2011 about former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich were not pursued “on account of miscommunication and misunderstanding, rather than any individual or systemic failure.”

The report highlighted multiple instances where Fehr said he could not recall receiving emails or having phone conversations about Aldrich, including one with agent Ross Gurney who said he warned Fehr that Aldrich was a “pedophile” or “sexual predator.”

Beach alleged he was sexually assaulted during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs by Aldrich. The team and Beach settled his negligence lawsuit last December. Before that litigation was settled, the Blackhawks hired Chicago law firm Jenner & Block to investigate Beach’s allegations. The NHL team disclosed Jenner & Block’s findings in October 2021.

The NHLPA voted in November to commission a third-party investigation of Fehr after details about his connection to Beach’s case first emerged in the Jenner & Block report.

Author: Lucy Green