Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters, left, speaks to players during practice for the NHL Heritage Classic outdoor hockey game in Regina on Friday, October 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

NHL investigates allegations Calgary Flames coach used racial slurs

The NHL called the alleged behaviour ‘repugnant and unacceptable’

The NHL said Tuesday it is investigating allegations Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters directed racial slurs toward Akim Aliu when he and the Nigerian-born player were in the minors a decade ago.

The NHL called the alleged behaviour “repugnant and unacceptable.” The league added it will have no further comment until it looks into what happened more thoroughly.

Aliu tweeted Monday that Peters “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.” Aliu said he “rebelled against him,” and Peters responded by asking Chicago Blackhawks executives John McDonough and Stan Bowman to send Aliu to a lower minor league level.

The tweet did not name Peters specifically, but referred to a “protege” of fired Toronto coach Mike Babcock’s who is now in Calgary. Babcock has been a mentor to Peters since Babcock coached him in college.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the team is investigating the allegations Aliu raised during Calgary’s overtime loss at Pittsburgh. Peters was not made available following Monday night’s game.

“I haven’t had the chance to sit down with Bill or our people internally to talk about this and get to the bottom of it,” Treliving said. “We take these matters very, very seriously.”

The Blackhawks issued a statement saying nothing had previously been brought to their attention regarding Peters and Aliu before Monday. The team added it had no affect on any player personnel decisions involving Aliu.

Email and voice messages left with Aliu have not been returned to The Associated Press. The Flames were scheduled to practice Tuesday in Buffalo, where they close a four-game road trip Wednesday night.

The timing of the allegations come with the Flames slumping. They’re 1-5-2 in their past eight a year after Calgary won a franchise-record 50 games in Peters’ first season as coach.

Peters was hired by Calgary after spending four seasons coaching the Carolina Hurricanes. The 54-year-old made the jump to Rockford after leading the Western Hockey League Spokane Chiefs to a Memorial Cup championship in 2008.

Aliu played under Peters during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. He was demoted to the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL during the 2009-10 season. Aliu, who was born in Africa but raised in Ukraine and Canada, later played seven NHL games over two seasons with Calgary. The 30-year-old Aliu has had a transient career since being selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2007 draft.

He’s not playing this season after appearing in 14 games with Orlando of the East Coast Hockey League last year. The Solar Bears were Aliu’s 11th team over a six-year span, which included stops in Russia, Sweden and Slovakia.

Aliu’s tweet were prompted after reports surfaced of how poorly Babcock dealt with his players in Toronto. Forward Mitch Marner confirmed that during his rookie season Babcock asked him to rank Maple Leafs players in order of hardest to least-hardest working. Babcock then shared Marner’s list with numerous players.

ALSO READ: A star for Canada, ‘Iggy’ retires after 20 NHL seasons

John Wawrow, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

Chilliwack Chiefs alum Jordan Kawaguchi named captain of North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The high scoring forward will lead UND into the 2020-21 NCAA Div-1 hockey season

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Most Read