On Wednesday of last week, both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, the only two remaining players from the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team, effectively praised the time of Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac with the Blackhawks shortly after they were both removed from the club for their roles in the cover-up of the sexual assault. “Good people” and “great man” were terms used to describe the those two who were instrumental in Kyle Beach not being believed as a sexual assault victim and Brad Aldrich being able to continue to operate within the team during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The four have been linked together for their entire Blackhawks careers. Their connections run deep because of what they have all collectively experienced and done for the Blackhawks franchise on and off the ice. But Toews and Kane failed to separate the men they knew from the men that failed to protect another player, a teammate.
Now, a full week after the Jenner and Block investigation findings were made public and their comments echoed across the hockey world for all the wrong reasons, both players have back-tracked and tried to course-correct their comments.
First, Kane spoke on Monday following the Blackhawks’ first win of the season, looking to re-express his support for Beach.
Patrick Kane: "I feel bad about the last time I talked. I put my personal experience with management ahead of the way Kyle [Beach] was treated by them… It takes incredible courage and pride for him to come forward. We're all thinking about him."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 2, 2021
Today, Toews followed suit in a manner that was pretty close to the same as Kane.
Jonathan Toews says his heart goes out to Kyle Beach.
"I can't undo what happened, I'd just like to know more and more about what Kyle feels & what he wants & what he envisions for the future. Maybe someone like me in my position can make a difference."
And on Joel Quenneville: pic.twitter.com/snM4vGe78C
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 3, 2021
"I can’t change the past, can’t undo what happened. I'd just like to know more and more what Kyle feels and what he wants and what he envisions for the future for maybe someone like me in my position, what we can do to make a difference."
— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) November 3, 2021
It’s all well and good to come forward with the right things to say after the fact. But it remains that their initial reactions were to feel reflective on Bowman and MacIsaac’s time with the Blackhawks before showing any remorse, sympathy, or support for Beach.
I’m open to giving players in their scenario an inch of space to maybe not say the perfect thing in the moment, but it hurts their cause knowing that nearly every other player in the league asked about the situation in Chicago said the right things and even Alex DeBrincat, a player not around in 2010, said more about the situation in a better manner than the two biggest voices on the roster. It’s fine they came around and said the right thing given a second attempt, but this is not a franchise that will be afforded second attempts any longer.