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.

Just Posted

North Cowichan taxpayers face 133% ‘worst case’ hike from a Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit lawsuit

An average North Cowichan home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Stuffed buses make transit no solution to Colwood Crawl

Woman fuming over lack of a timely commute from West Shore, BC Transit says more buses coming

RCMP launch month-long impaired driving counterattack campaign

Carpooling, designated drivers, taxi, public transit all better choices than driving while impaired

BC Hydro reservoirs see record low rain across Vancouver Island

Hydro electric watersheds are at a third of their normal levels

North Island Rising: Your city budget planning process already in full swing

Don’t wait until that tax notice arrives before starting the conversation

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

New school for Hornby Island; $27 million in upgrades to Comox Valley Middle School

Upgrades to Lake Trail include a $1.5-million child care centre

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Concern grows as deadline looms for major downtown Nanaimo hotel development

PEG Developments say they’re pushing to break ground before Dec. 31 deadline

‘Nightmare’ Wellburns sewage flood ousts tenants indefinitely

Residents evacuated after sewage flooded basement of century-old building

Habitat for Humanity opens four homes in Comox Valley, capping record year

Area chapter finishes eight homes during one year for first time

B.C. Transit saves $300,000, scores 28 used fareboxes from California

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Most Read