• By: Dave Gross

Social media pushes the envelope, for once

The days of turning a blind eye are over.

If there is one good thing about social media – and there really is not much, truly – it’s that information and deplorable, inappropriate behaviors can no longer be swept under the rug. (Ask certain characters currently in public office).

When the John Doe situation first arose publicly more than a week ago, the thing went full-throttle viral.

When John Doe came forward and identified himself as Kyle Beach, the social-media networks exploded.

Information came flowing out. Quickly.

Response and action followed. Quickly.

Much of the credit has to go to TSN’s exemplary reporter Rick Westhead who dug and dug – as he does unwaveringly with all his work – and eventually landed that gripping, heart-wrenching and sometimes horrifying interview with Beach.

The chips started to tumble in the Beach case in rapid fashion. Once news hit the Internet and was thrust with a jagged point into the public eye, the response followed. Stan Bowman was ousted as general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks; Joel Quenneville was lifted as the coach of the Florida Panthers (he was running the show in Chicago when the incidents reportedly took place); Donald Fehr is now under the microscope as chief of the NHL Players’ Association.

“I think guys want answers,” said New York Ranger defenceman Jacob Trouba to the New York Post. “I think players want to know what happened, where the shortcomings were with the PA. Obviously a lot of breakdowns in the situation on a lot of different parts.

“But what could the PA have done better to prevent (what happened to Beach) from happening?”

Fehr, according to the 107-page report generated through an independent investigation, was contacted twice about allegations against Brad Aldrich, the alleged perpetrator. Fehr told investigators he did not remember those conversations.

“I believe two different people talked to Don Fehr,” Beach said. “And for him to turn his back on the players when his one job is to protect the players at all costs, I don’t know how that can be your leader.”

As of this writing, Fehr’s future with the ‘PA was unknown although action was being taken.

One thought that rings true: Once this issue was released, there was no slowing resolutions down.

THOUGHT, SEEN AND HEARD: Do the Ottawa Senators really want to win consistently this season? If so, give the ball to Filip Gustavsson. Regardless of how much cheese Matt Murray is making, Gustavsson has proven to be the better goalie. Unfortunately for Ottawa Fan this is another case of economics meaning more than the simple eye test . . . Actual definition of repeatedly banging your head against the wall: Gary Bettman and his jilted love affair with the Arizona Coyotes . . . The Morgan Rielly signing in Toronto is one of GM Kyle Dubas’ smarter manoeuvres. Problem is, the move comes on the heels of some poor ones . . . Make no mistake, Rielly as an UFA gets much more on the open market . . . An NHL scout I happen to know had an interesting if impossible solution to Toronto’s ongoing cap dilemma – have Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and John Tavares give back a couple million each in order to surround themselves with strong backup . . . If the Leafs played with as much drive and gusto as Detroit we wouldn’t be talking ‘disappointing start to the season’ here . . . Still, good effort by the Buds in Saturday’s win over the Wings . . . Detroit’s quietly built a prospect pool akin to Ottawa’s, that’s on Steve Yzerman and staff . . . Why is it whenever I think of the Dallas Stars I think: ‘close but no cigar’ . . . Kaapo Kakko, Kaapo Kahkonen, Kirill Kaprizov, Kasperi Kapanen: When the NHL becomes the KHL . . . It’s early but doesn’t Scottie Barnes look like something special with the Toronto Raptors? . . . Have no interest in this World Series between a team that cheated and a team whose fans continue a ridiculously antiquated and insulting ‘tradition’ . . . Have to admire some of my friends’ determination (see: Detroit Red Wings above). Two degrees Celsius and they’re still out swinging the clubs. (Is that ‘determination’ or ‘something else?’).

PHOTO: Getty Images