Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters is being investigated by the team and league after word got out on Tuesday that he repeatedly used a racial epithet in front of former forward Akim Aliu while he was the Blackhawks’ minor league hockey team in Rockford during the 2009-10 season. The NHL released a statement, saying that “The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable” and that they are currently investigating the situation.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) November 26, 2019
Aliu said that Peters dropped the ‘N’ bomb on him “several times” after he didn’t like his taste in music during his rookie year. He never made it explicitly clear he was talking about Peters but it became obvious who he was talking about after he said the coach was a protege of former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock’s. According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Peters was referring to the music Aliu was playing and not the player.
Not very surprising the things we’re hearing about Babcock. Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree, same sort of deal with his protege in YYC. Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music. First one to
— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) November 26, 2019
Aliu told the media that this struck his confidence. “Look at the numbers. I was on pace for 20 goals in my first pro season and I wasn’t getting any power-play or penalty-kill time. Zero special teams,” Aliu told TSN. “I feel like this ruined my career before it started. I don’t think that can be disputed. Then you get sent down to the ECHL, then traded to another organization and it’s an uphill climb from there.”
The Flames did not make Peters available to the media after their 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday and the team was going through an investigation on him.
Peters has yet to speak regarding the allegations.
Flames associate coach Geoff Ward was in charge of the Flames’ practice on Tuesday ahead of their game at the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.
Flames GM Brad Treliving told the media that he will discuss this with Peters before making any decisions, saying “Bill has not been relieved of his duties. We are continuing this ongoing investigation right now. The serious nature of this is not lost on us, we take it with extreme seriousness.”
In a statement, the NHL said, “The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable. We will have no further comment until we have had an opportunity to look into the matter more thoroughly.”
By Harrison Brown