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Former Blackhawks prospect Akim Aliu accuses Flames coach Bill Peters of using racial slur

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The alleged incident occurred during the 2009-10 season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

2007 NHL Entry Draft Portraits Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NHL is investigating allegations Flames coach Bill Peters directed racial slurs at former Blackhawks prospect Akim Aliu 10 years ago while with Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

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.

“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.