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Blackhawks’ Toews, Kane defend ex-GM Stan Bowman after Kyle Beach’s interview on sexual assault allegations

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Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and star Patrick Kane spoke on Wednesday night after their loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs about former teammate Kyle Beach’s interview coming forward about his sexual assault allegations against the team’s former video coordinator.

Toews and Kane, who were on the Blackhawks in 2010 when Beach said he was sexually assaulted by Brad Aldrich, both expressed remorse for the situation but declined knowing any specific details of what happened at the time.

The two, though, still defended former general manager Stan Bowman and executive Al MacIsaac — both of whom were ousted in the wake of the investigation on Tuesday.

“I knew Kyle pretty well from a couple different training camps. He seemed like a happy-go-lucky guy,” Kane said Wednesday, via the Chicago Sun Times. “I wish back then we could’ve done some different things or known some different things to help him.”

Toews: We ‘were focused on just playing hockey’

Beach, a former first-round draft pick, spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday and revealed himself as “John Doe” in the investigation.

Beach was 20 and a member of the Black Aces during the 2010 season, and said he was threatened and sexually assaulted by Aldrich. The investigation confirmed his allegations and that plenty of people within the organization knew about the incident.

Aldrich, who didn’t resign until after the team won the Stanley Cup that season, was also found to have sexually touched a front office employee in a taxi, sent a picture of his penis to a different Blackhawks prospect and later sexually assaulted others — including a 16-year-old high school student — in the years to come.

Bowman resigned Tuesday in the wake of the report, and MacIsaac was forced out. The investigation determined that those two and five other coaches or executives knew of the allegations during their Stanley Cup run but took no immediate action “so as not to disturb team chemistry.”

"We wish we could have done something differently, myself included,” Toews said Wednesday night, via ESPN. “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.”

Kane said that he never learned of Beach’s sexual assault other than hearing “vague rumors” of Aldrich’s behavior. Toews said he was told during training camp in 2011.

“Not that it was a joke, but it was something that wasn’t taken super seriously at the time,” Toews said, via the Chicago Sun Times. “I thought Brad being let go or resigning from the organization was the way it was dealt with. ... Had I been more connected to the situation and known some of the more gory details of it, I’d like to say yeah, I would’ve acted differently in my role as captain.”

Toews, Kane defend Bowman and MacIsaac: ‘They’re good people’

Toews was asked after the game whether his opinion of either Bowman or MacIsaac had changed after what has come out in recent days.

Toews said he doesn’t see either of the men as complicit in what happened to Beach.

“To me, Stan and Al, make any argument you want, they’re not directly complicit in the activities that happened,” Toews said Wednesday night, via the Chicago Sun Times. “It’s not up to me to comment on whether they’d like to deal with it differently or not. I just know them as people and I’ve had a relationship and friendship with them for a long time as being part of the Blackhawks family.”

Toews also said that he doesn’t feel it’s his place to put blame on the situation, and that he still has “a lot of respect for them as people.”

“They’re good people,” he said, via the Chicago Sun Times. “When it comes down to how they feel looking back on the situation, that’s not up to me to comment on.”

Kane, who said he hadn’t seen the TSN interview yet, called Bowman a “great man” on Wednesday night despite everything that has come out.

With his resignation, and others being ousted, Kane does feel the team is at least moving in the right direction.

“He did a lot for me personally, coming into the league and over the course of my career,” Kane said of Bowman, via the Chicago Tribune. “I’m sure he probably would’ve handled things a little bit differently nowadays.

“But what happened, happened in the past, and I think the organization made the right moves to get the Blackhawks going forward in the right steps and making sure we’re trending forward.”

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