The conversation happened over 20 years ago and it still sticks to me.
Oh, how it sticks to me.
Bernie Lynch, then the coach of the WHL Regina Pats, and I were chatting when the conversation turned to the Swift Current Broncos.
The Broncos, to that point in the 1988-89 season, had written a remarkable story. Two years after a bus crash had killed four of their players, they'd built a powerhouse under head coach Graham James and star forward Sheldon Kennedy.
That season they went 55-16-1 and swept all three playoff series before winning the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon. Playing a dazzling speed-and-skill game, they were the talk of the league and that summer, I would write a story for The Hockey News heralding Graham James as hockey's man of the year.
Suffice to say that team and James is now remembered for other reasons.
Do you know what's going on with Graham and Sheldon? Lynch asked, before describing the pattern of abuse that Kennedy would make public some eight years later.
I've since asked myself five hundred times why I didn't do more to expose James; why I didn't ask more questions; why I didn't dig deeper. Lynch was hardly a WHL insider it would be his only year coaching the Pats and if he knew, it stood to reason others knew.