Too Many Men: The NHL’s Downward Spiral
Logan Mailloux took a photo of a teenage girl in the middle of a sexual act without her consent. He then sent it to every person on his hockey team. He went a step further to take screen shots of her social media profiles to prove her identity to his team.
He is a predator.
Rather, after being selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, he is a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
The man who made the selection, Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin, is among the management claiming no knowledge of sexual assault against players on the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks. That season, Bergevin was the Director of Player Personnel. His role in the team that season was so appreciated, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager the following season.
Drafting Mailloux, and employing Bergevin, shows how little the Montreal Canadiens care about women, and abuse.
And the league spirals downard.
If we travel south to the Carolina Hurricanes, the team entered the offseason acquiring Ethan Bear, an Indigenous defender, from the Edmonton Oilers. He was victim to horrific racism from fans last season in Edmonton. Only hours later, Carolina signed another defender, this time it was known racist Tony DeAngelo.
Tony DeAngelo has a history of racism, stemming back to his time in the OHL. He’s been suspended multiple times, and last season, spoke his way off the New York Rangers after a physical altercation with a teammate, and reported racism and bigotry toward Black rookie K’Andre Miller. Growing up, DeAngelo’s dad stated that he made racist slurs “every day.”
Signing DeAngelo shows how little the Carolina Hurricanes care about racism. Signing him hours after acquiring Ethan Bear shows how little the team cares about the humanity of their players.
For the first time in my life, I agree with Don Cherry. The Hurricanes really are a bunch of jerks. It’s notable that the players are already choosing silence.
And the league spirals downward.
Coincidentally, the only manager that showed public interest in DeAngelo last season was Marc Bergevin. He’s a man with no interest in diversity, supporting women, or combatting the abusive and toxic culture of the game.
If the league is spiralling downward, people like Marc Bergevin are hitting the flusher.
But the problems stem above the hockey people. As seen in recent weeks, ownership has a role to play in this.
Montreal’s owner Geoff Molson came out with a statement on the opening day of free agency, when his words would be hidden by dozens of signings, stating that the team was not aware how many would be offended by their drafting of Logan Mailloux. They didn’t rescind the pick, rather they promised to educate others on topics of abuse. Because obviously the men in charge of the Canadiens are the appropriate people to do this. Women and oppressed groups have been trying to educate the NHL for years, and every time the league slams the door in their face. Molson making his promises is simply his price for doing business, for acquiring the hockey player they wanted, despite the fact he victimized a young woman without remorse.
The team went further, by stating that they hoped to have Mailloux speak to teens about his experience, and how this impacted his life. They are making him the victim in a disgusting redemption tour.
In Carolina, the man who owns the team, and was fine with giving a million dollars to noted bigot Tony DeAngelo was Thomas Dundon.
Lest we forget, Dundon was only able to buy the Carolina Hurricanes by preying on vulnerable people. He made his millions (and then billions) running a subprime auto loan company, providing car loans to people with bad credit, charging exorbitant interest rates to keep those who were already in financial trouble in deeper debt. All to pad his capitalist pockets. Financially, he was a predator, so it seems only fitting that he’d welcome any player who may be able to help his bottom line, regardless of ethics.
Down another spiral.
In Chicago, an even deeper rooted issue exists. A systemic cover up involving current and past NHL general managers, head coaches, team directors, scouts, and athletic staff is underway to keep the truth of sexual assault and abuse within their organization away from the light of day.
We now know that Bradley Aldrich, then video coach, sexually assaulted a player on the Blackhawks. When that player reported the abuse, nothing was done.
This stayed silent for a decade, because that’s what hockey does best, it protects its own, while casting aside the victims and the vulnerable.
And because of this, the downward spiral, continues.
Aldrich, left unpunished by the NHL, and supported in silence, went on to work with a high school hockey team in Michigan, where he sexually abused a teenager.
The silence of Chicago’s brass, including people like Stan Bowman and Marc Bergevin continues to echo in the lives of others.
Bergevin, allowed to continue in the hockey world unscathed drafted Logan Mailloux. Mailloux’s victim will not earn millions from a game, nor will she ever get back what Mailloux took. Marc Bergevin thought this person was worthy of entering his team. And Bergevin’s negative impact on the lives of others continues.
Families in Texas, where Thomas Dundon grew up, and across the United States are dealing with debt, debt which Dundon pushed them into for his own gain. At his mansion, Dundon has a go-kart track, a fish stocked lake, an indoor tennis court, baseball field, a slide that travels from the second floor to first floor, a putting green, pool, and dance studio. He loves sports, and he loves what debt can buy.
There are too many men who care only for their own financial gain, and goals of achieving power to make this league safe for everyone.
It’s baffling to watch a league and its members continue to show such blatant disregard for others, but hey, that’s hockey.
By Ian Kennedy