Aliu, a 2007 second-round pick of Chicago, alleged on Twitter on Monday night that he was repeatedly subjected to racial slurs for his choice in music in the team’s dressing room during his rookie season in 2009-10 and Peters’ second of three seasons in Rockford. Simon Pepin and Peter MacArthur, who were teammates with Aliu at the time in Rockford, confirmed Aliu’s racial slur allegations to TSN’s Frank Servalli.
The Nigerian-born Aliu also said he “rebelled” against Peters, who arranged for his demotion to the ECHL by writing a letter to Blackhawks president John McDonough and general manager Stan Bowman, asking to assign Aliu to the Toledo Walleye in the ECHL.
Corey Crawford was on that 2009-10 Rockford IceHogs team with Akim Aliu.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 27, 2019
On coach Bill Peters: "I mean, he was fine with me. I thought he was fine with all the players. I don’t know. He kind of had like an old-school style, but I don’t really remember anything bad."
“The alleged actions by a former coach toward Akim Aliu while with the Rockford IceHogs are something we take seriously,” the Blackhawks said in a statement Tuesday. “The purported incident had not been reported or brought to our attention prior to (Monday) and had no effect on any player personnel decision regarding Mr. Aliu.”
The NHL on Tuesday called the alleged behavior “repugnant and unacceptable.” The league added it will have no further comment until it conducts its investigation.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the team is also investigating Aliu’s allegations.
“Through social media, we became aware of this issue during the game this evening,” Treliving said Monday night after a 3-2 overtime loss in Pittsburgh. “We take these matters very seriously. We want to complete a full and proper investigation before we provide any further comments on the matter.”
Peters was not made available to the media Monday.
In the 2009-10 season, Aliu played in the AHL and ECHL, scoring 11 goals and 17 points in 48 AHL games and 14 points in 13 ECHL contests. Chicago traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers in June 2010 along with defensemen Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and forward Brent Sopel for forwards Joey Crabb, Jeremy Morin and Marty Reasoner, as well as a first- and second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. Aliu later scored two goals and three points in seven NHL games with the Flames between 2011 and 2013 prior to Peters’ arrival in Calgary.
The now 30-year-old Aliu is currently playing in the Lightning organization for the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL.
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
admit I rebelled against him. Wouldn’t you? And instead of remedying the situation, he wrote a letter to John McDonough and Stan Bowman to have me sent down to the ECHL. 20 year old on pace for 20 goals in his first pro year with zero PP/PK time was off to a great start in his— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) November 26, 2019
Pro career— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) November 26, 2019