CALGARY – The Calgary Flames have confirmed head coach Bill Peters has resigned after allegations made by former player Akim Aliu on social media.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving made the announcement during a press conference on Friday. Treliving also named Geoff Ward as the Flames’ interim head coach.
“This morning I received a letter of resignation from Bill Peters, which I accepted. Effective immediately, Bill Peters is no longer the head coach of the Calgary Flames.” – Brad Treliving #Flames @Sportsnet960 pic.twitter.com/O5uSFT0htU
— Will Nault (@wnault960) November 29, 2019
On Monday night, Aliu alleged on Twitter that Peters had directed a racial slur toward him “several times” while the two were together in the AHL. Aliu played for Peters when he was head coach of the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s AHL affiliate, for five games in the 2008-09 season and 48 games in 2009-10. Aliu also appeared in 13 games for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye in ’09-10.
Since the allegation, Peters has not run a practice for the Flames and was not on the bench for their Wednesday night game in Buffalo. He also did not join the team on their charter flight back to Calgary.
"I'm sure I made a lot of mistakes," says Treliving when asked if he felt like he handled the situation as best as he could. "I was flying without a compass here." He adds they didn't want to make any decisions without having all the facts. #yyc #Calgary @NHLFlames @660NEWS
— Saif Kaisar (@StaySaif) November 29, 2019
During Calgary’s game against Buffalo, Peters released an apology to the Flames in regards to the incident involving Aliu, though he did not mention him by name.
On Thursday morning, Aliu issued a statement responding to Peters’ letter.
“I have read the statement of Bill Peters, which I found to be misleading, insincere and concerning. I have accepted an invitation from the NHL to meet and discuss this situation. Out of respect for that process, I will not respond publicly to the statement or discuss the racism and discrimination that I have endured until after my meeting.”
The NHL released a statement following Peter’s resignations saying it won’t comment further as it will be meeting with Aliu and the Flames.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 29, 2019