A scandal that has rocked the National Hockey League and Chicago Blackhawks has reached all the way back to the Okanagan.
Kelowna-raised Kyle Beach, who was born in North Vancouver, has come forward to say he is John Doe 1, the player at the centre of the allegations of sexual abuse who, until now, had remained unidentified.
Beach, in an exclusive interview with TSN reporter Rick Westhead, said he was the player sexually assaulted by then-27-year-old Chicago video coach Brad Aldrich.
"To be honest, I was scared mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark," Beach told Westhead about the days following the abuse.
Beach was a first-round draft choice of the Blackhawks in 2008. In the spring of 2010, after completing his final season in Spokane of the WHL, Beach was called up to the Blackhawks AHL affiliate in Rockford, IL.
After their season ended, he joined the Blackhawks as one of their "Black Aces" during what would be a Stanley Cup run.
Beach reported the incident and was assured it made it up the chain of command, "but nothing happened."
"It was like his life was the same as the day before. Same every day. And then when they won, to see him paraded around lifting the Cup, at the parade, at the team pictures, at celebrations, it made me feel like nothing. It made me feel like I didn’t exist.
"It made me feel like, that I wasn’t important and…it made me feel like he was in the right and I was wrong. And that’s also what ‘Doc’ Gary told me, that it was my fault because I put myself in that situation. And the combination of these and him being paraded around, then letting him take the Stanley Cup to a high school with kids after they knew what had happened."
A report issued earlier this week following a lengthy four-month investigation after the incident and cover-up came to light, accused John McDonough, Al MacIsaac, Stan Bowman, Jay Blunk, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Joel Quenneville and Jim Gary of knowing about the incident.
As a result of that report Bowman stepped down as GM and the team was fined $2 million.
Other action could be taken against those still employed in the league.
Beach, who chased his hockey career to Europe, never did play in the NHL.