The Boston Bruins showed their support for Kyle Beach in a very important way: They listened.
Beach came forward last week as the "John Doe" in the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault investigation via court documents related to a lawsuit filed against the team. The former Blackhawks prospect had previously kept his identity anonymous while alleging that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but spoke publicly last Wednesday in a 25-minute interview with TSN's Rick Westhead.
Beach's interview was an important step forward that resulted in several members of the 2010 Blackhawks being held accountable for failing to report Aldrich's actions. The Bruins clearly felt Beach's interview was important as well and watched it as a team, according to defenseman Brandon Carlo.
"Overall, I feel like there was good discussion. We felt a responsibility that we all wanted to watch the interview together with Kyle Beach," Carlo said Tuesday after the Bruins' practice. "I think he was trying to display a message for all of us and speak up and have a lot of courage in doing so. It was very powerful and it affected all of us in a way that you could tell."
The decision to watch together was spurred by head coach Bruce Cassidy and team captain Patrice Bergeron, Carlo said.
"Butchy (Cassidy) felt it was important, and Bergy," Carlo said. "I think they had a little discussion, and I think it was a great thing for all of us to do. Like I said, it was very courageous for (Beach) to come out and do all of this. He’s not doing it for no reason, he’s doing it to put a stop to things like this.
"Once you see it, you see the emotion involved with it and also just gain an understanding for the fact that things like these do happen. His message was obviously very clear in that you don’t have to be alone in it. So that was huge to see and very powerful and I think it was great that we all watched it, but also very hard to watch."
Bruins forward Taylor Hall spoke recently of the need to change the NHL's "old boys club" culture. By listening to Beach's message together and having a discussion as a team, the Bruins hopefully took a step in the positive direction to identify how their organization and the rest of the league can do better.
The Bruins have one of the NHL's best leadership groups led by Bergeron, an 18-year veteran who is among the league's most respected players. Based on Carlo's comments, it sounds like that leadership group is doing its job.