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Anders Lee, Islanders Look For Answers During Call with NHLPA

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Anders Lee

The fallout of the 107-page report about the Chicago Blackhawks’ handling of sexual assault allegations in 2010 continued on Monday as  NHLPA head Don Fehr addressed the players association’s executive board along with player representatives of all 32 teams. Among them was New York Islanders captain Anders Lee.

The meeting was called following a bombshell report that was released last Tuesday exposing the mishandling of sexual abuse allegations by former Chicago Blackhawk Kyle Beach against the team’s video coach Brad Aldrich. The report indicated that Fehr had been contacted twice about the sexual assault allegations, but he told the investigators he didn’t remember the conversations.

“I know there’s a lot of questions that are definitely directed towards Don right now,” Anders Lee said ahead of the call on Monday. “I think as a group we are looking forward to those answers. Just to see what’s going on and what happened there, and how unfortunate this situation became. Looking forward to seeing what they have to say and going from there. Looking to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The call took place after Anders Lee and the New York Islanders practiced on Long Island Monday morning. Details about the call remain sparse, but it was reported by Darren Dreger that it lasted over two hours.

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported that there was “good dialog” and that it was “informative.” No change is expected to come at the executive level, according to Pagnotta.

Monday’s NHLPA call came on the same day that NHL executives addressed reporters following last week’s report. Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly answered questions for nearly an hour as they defended the league’s disciplinary action in the wake of the report.

That included defending the decision to fine Chicago $2 million, which was less severe than other clubs had been fined in the past over cap compliance issues.

“The others had different context and different facts,” Bettman said. “This was to make clear that the way the Blackhawks organization handled the matter was inappropriate, even though ownership was not aware. It was also a message to the rest of the league that you have to make sure your organization is functioning properly on these matters.”

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