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An Inside Look at Investigations into Sexual Abuse Allegations in Organized Hockey

4 October 2022 @ 6:00 pm

Investigative reporting on organized hockey in Canada has revealed a toxic culture of sexual, possibly illegal, misconduct. As a result, Canada’s governing body for its national sport – Hockey Canada – is facing an ongoing crisis and official scrutiny regarding its response to allegations going back to 1989, largely exposed by rigorous investigative journalism.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talk series on October 4 explored the media’s role in bringing these scandals to light. The event took place in person at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at 789 Yonge Street.

Over the past two years, CTV News and TSN’s award-winning journalist Rick Westhead broke several stories that undermined Canadians’ trust in hockey leaders and national organizations. In May, Westhead revealed that Hockey Canada settled a multi-million dollar sexual assault suit by a woman against eight organized Canadian Hockey League players, including members of Canada’s gold medal-winning 2017-18 World Junior team. Since then, he uncovered more gang sexual assault allegations, this time against the 2002-03 World Junior team, which are now being investigated by the Halifax police.

These investigations came nearly one year after Westhead first introduced Kyle Beach as the John Doe former Chicago Blackhawks minor league player who accused the NHL team’s video coach of sexual assault during the team’s 2010 championship run.

Our CJF J-Talk featured Westhead, TSN Vice-President and Executive Producer Ken Volden and The Athletic’s Katie Strang, who led her website’s reporting on these issues. They discussed their investigations in conversation with CTV National News journalist Judy Trinh.



October 4 | Doors open at 6 p.m. | Discussion 6:30 p.m.
The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, Toronto




Katie Strang is a senior investigative and enterprise writer for The Athletic where she specializes in covering the intersection of sports and social issues, with a particular focus on sexual abuse and gendered violence. Strang was part of a team that won the 2021 Associated Press Sports Editors award for investigative writing and was a finalist for the 2019 Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting. @KatieJStrang

Rick Westhead is an award-winning investigative journalist and TSN’s Senior Correspondent. In 2021, Westhead led TSN’s reporting on the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault investigation, which included an exclusive interview with Blackhawks first-round draft pick Kyle Beach, in which Beach identified himself as the player abused by the team’s former video coach Brad Aldrich. Throughout his 20-year career, Westhead has reported on a variety of sports issues for a slate of leading publications including the Toronto Star, Bloomberg News, The Canadian Press, The Globe and Mail and The New York Times. @rwesthead

Ken Volden is Vice President and Executive Producer at TSN, overseeing all of TSN’s in-house studio productions, as well as the development digital and social media platforms. A winner of multiple Canadian Screen Awards, Volden joined TSN as an associate producer in 1995.


Judy Trinh is a broadcast journalist and CTV National News Correspondent, Investigations and Politics. Trinh has been nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards and a National Magazine Award for feature writing. She has reported from disaster zones, investigated terror suspects and shone a light on sexual assault in the music industry. In 2017, her personal story of fleeing Vietnam inspired a Heritage Minute that marked Canada’s humanitarian efforts on the country’s 150th birthday. @judyatrinh