Flames general manager Brad Treliving accepted Bill Peters’ letter of resignation Friday following allegations of racist remarks and physically abusing players. Frank Seravalli of TSN first reported the news.
Geoff Ward will take over as the interim head coach for Calgary.
Peters’ resignation comes four days after former Blackhawks prospect Akim Aliu wrote on Twitter that Peters used racial slurs a decade ago as the head coach of Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
Aliu said Peters “dropped the N bomb several times” because the coach didn’t like the Nigerian-born player’s choice of music. Following the incident, Aliu said he “rebelled” against Peters, who arranged for the player’s demotion to the ECHL by writing a letter to Blackhawks president John McDonough and general manager Stan Bow
The Blackhawks said in a statement Tuesday that they were not made aware of the incident.
“The alleged actions by a former coach toward Akim Aliu while with the Rockford IceHogs are something we take seriously. 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.”
On Tuesday, Peter MacArthur and Simon Pepin, two of Aliu’s IceHogs teammates, confirmed to TSN the incident happened. Aliu also said Rockford captain Jake Dowell confronted Peters about the incident, but Dowell declined to comment to TSN and instead opted to participate in investigations with the Flames and NHL.
Peters acknowledged in a letter of apology Wednesday that he used “offensive language” toward Aliu.
“Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said,’’ Peters wrote, saying the comments were made in a “moment of frustration’’ and his words didn’t mirror his “personal values.’’
Aliu called Peters’ apology “misleading, insincere and concerning.”
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.
Also on Tuesday, former Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan alleged Peters kicked him and punched another player in the head during a game while Peters was the head coach of Carolina. Current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour confirmed Jordan’s story Wednesday, and said “management handled it correctly and we never heard of it again.” The next day, however, former Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos told The Seattle Times he was never made aware of Peters’ alleged physical abuse by then-general manager Ron Francis, who is now the GM of Seattle’s NHL team.
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