Peters resigns as Calgary Flames coach
Akim Aliu has accused Calgary coach Bill Peters of using racial slurs against him when he was a 20-year-old rookie. Peters resigned Friday.
Bill Peters resigned as the Calgary Flames coach on Friday.
The resignation comes after Peters was accused of and admitted to using a racial epithet towards a player 10 years ago when Peters was coaching in the American Hockey League.
Peters, who was an assistant coach with the Red Wings from 2011-14, used the n-word several times in telling Akim Aliu – who is Nigerian and Russian – that he did not like the hip hop music Aliu was playing before a morning skate during the 2009-10 season, when Peters was the coach and Aliu was a player with the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks affiliate.
Aliu tweeted on Monday that the incident had happened. Two of his Rockford teammates – Simon Pepin and Peter MacArthur – corroborated his account to Canadian network TSN.
"Effective immediately, Bill Peters is no longer a member of the Calgary Flames organization," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
Peters had not been with the team since Monday night as the team said it was investigating the charges, along with the NHL. Assistant coach Geoff Ward took over the head coaching duties – directing the Flames to a win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday – and was named interim coach on Friday.
After Aliu came forward, Michal Jordan also said that Peters kicked him and punched another player when Peters was the coach of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-18.
Current Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour, who was an assistant coach under Peters at that time, said it had "for sure happened." He added that it was reported to management and was handled within the organization.
On Wednesday, Peters sent a letter of apology to Treliving, which the team tweeted. Peters wrote that his comments were made in a “moment of frustration.” He added: "Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said.''
Aliu issued a statement on Thursday saying he found Peters' letter of apology to the Flames "misleading, insincere and concerning." Aliu added that he would have no further comment until he met with the NHL as part of its investigation of the incident.
Peters, 53, was in his second season as Calgary’s coach.