Rangers and Islanders react to Blackhawks' sexual assault scandal

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Stan Bowman at news conference
Stan Bowman at news conference

The Rangers and Islanders reacted on Thursday to the sexual assault scandal that has embroiled the Chicago Blackhawks.

The scandal stemmed from the Blackhawks' inaction in May of 2010 after key members of the organization failed to immediately respond to and deal with sexual assault allegations Kyle Beach -- then a player -- made against Brad Aldrich, who was Chicago's video coach at the time.

After eventually dealing with the allegations in June, leading Aldrich to resign, the Blackhawks -- per a 107-page report that was released on Wednesday -- violated an agreement that had barred Aldrich from making any contact with Blackhawks players.

In the wake of the report, Blackhawks GM and president of hockey operations Stan Bowman and VP of hockey operations Al MacIsaac resigned.

Joel Quenneville (who was the Blackhawks' head coach at the time and is now the head coach of the Florida Panthers), and Kevin Chevaldayoff (who was the Blackhawks' assistant GM at the time and is now the GM of the Winnipeg Jets) are also named in the report among those who failed to act.

Quenneville has a meeting scheduled with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for Thursday.

In an interview on Wednesday, Beach -- who had been referred to as "John Doe" in the report, came forward and asked his identity to be revealed.

"I know I'm not the only one," Beach said. "Male or female. And I buried this for 10 years. 11 years. And it's destroyed me, from the inside out. And I want everyone in the sports world, and the world, to know that you're not alone."

Said Beach about Aldrich being allowed to attend the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup parade following the allegations:

"To see him paraded around, lifting up the cup at the parade, at the team pictures at the celebrations, it made me feel like nothing," Beach said. "It made me feel like I didn't exist."

On Thursday, those with the Rangers and Islanders reacted to the situation.

"I’m shocked and it’s a terrible thing that has happened," Mika Zibanejad told reporters after practice. "I really feel for him and the victims. It takes a lot of courage to come out and tell his story. Just a terrible situation that shouldn’t happen."

Said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant:

"I watched that press conference last night," Gallant said. "It's really tough to watch, it really chokes you up as a person watching that. ... I didn't know (Kyle Beach) personally, but the positive thing that I took out of that last night was he talked about the healing. ... I think he's courageous and did an outstanding job. Hopefully he can heal and feel a lot better about himself."

Said Islanders captain Anders Lee:

"My heart goes out to Kyle and his family and (I) commend him greatly for speaking up about this," Lee told reporters. "No one should have to go through a situation like that. ... You don't ever want to see that kind of situation evolve into what happened. Whatever we can do as a group, everywhere, to make sure these things don't happen again, we're trying to create something here with a lot of open dialogue where people feel safe."