Taylor Hall: Hockey’s ‘old boys’ club’ needs to change in wake of Blackhawks scandal

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As it turns out, the Bruins’ loss to the Panthers Wednesday night was Joel Quenneville’s final game as Florida’s coach. Quenneville resigned Thursday night after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about his role in the cover-up of sexual assault allegations made against Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.

The findings of the investigation into the scandal, the fallout from it, and Kyle Beach coming forward as John Doe continue to dominate conversations around the hockey world. Unsurprisingly, that includes around the Bruins, who face the Panthers and interim coach Andrew Brunette again on Saturday.

After Boston’s loss to the Hurricanes on Thursday, Taylor Hall said he and some of his teammates have been talking about the case, and that everyone’s thoughts are with Beach first and foremost.

“Our hearts go out to Kyle Beach,” Hall said. “We were playing junior at a similar time. It’s just so unfortunate he had to go through that. I think everyone -- we were talking about it last night -- everyone feels terrible for him and hopes that he can get some solace at the end of this.”

Hall was then asked if all this serves as a reminder of what hockey culture needs to get better at, and the Bruins winger acknowledged that there is an “old boys’ club” mentality and culture of secrecy that needs to change.

“Every culture needs to keep getting better, and hockey’s no different,” Hall said. “This is a game that’s a little bit of a, I guess what you would call an old boys’ club, and there’s definitely some secrecy and things that need to change. Hopefully they can. You never want to think of an incident like this, positives coming from it, because it’s been so terrible, but there needs to be changes, and unfortunately people need to be held accountable.”

Quenneville became the third person to lose his job following the release of the investigation’s findings, as Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president Al MacIsaac both resigned as well. Bettman will also be meeting with Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff on Friday, and it would not be surprising if his resignation or firing follows. According to investigators, Cheveldayoff was in the same meeting as those other three when Blackhawks leadership was made aware of the allegations and then did not take any action for several weeks.