OK, so it happened earlier today and was buried by other news, but the Chicago Blackhawks unceremoniously traded Kyle Beach to the New York Rangers for Brandon Mashinter. Beach was a former first-round draft pick by the Blackhawks who never played a regular season game with the big-league team, instead he was mainly reduced to being on the AHL‘s Rockford IceHogs. To say Beach was a disappointment might be understating it.
The 6-foot-3 Beach was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. This was after two-straight years of picking Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. All Kane and Toews have done is dominate the NHL and give the Blackhawks two Stanley Cups.
While playing junior hockey, Beach developed a reputation for disciplinary issues, which included an incident where he was suspended for six games for bumping into an official while he was playing in a midget tournament. He also got into a fight with future Boston Bruins star Milan Lucic while Beach was playing for the Evertt Silvertips in the WHL. Beach mocked Lucic’s curved spine by making a hunchback gesture at him and Lucic retaliated a few games later. During his time with Everett, Beach got into 28 fights and had over 418 penalty minutes.
Aside from his disciplinary issues, Beach never really had a chance in the big leagues. Not only did the Blackhawks have a load of talent and depth that made his services unnecessary, Beach never seemed to click in Rockford, on top of his disciplinary reputation. He had 41 goals in 169 games with the IceHogs. Not exactly superstar material in the NHL. He was also plagued with injuries, mainly due in part to his very physical play. He also spent 422 minutes in the ol’ sin bin, the most in IceHogs history.
Then-general manager Dale Tallon may have seen potential in thanks to his physical play, but as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. The Blackhawks will be getting a similar style of player in Mashinter, but Beach’s status as a draft bus will make him one of those players whose only reputation will be that of a draft bust who couldn’t control his temper.