‘We move on:’ Flames head coach Bill Peters resigns after racial slur allegations

Exit comes after former NHL-er Akim Aliu tweeted that he been the target of a racial slur

After a firestorm of controversy amid allegations of racial slurs and physical abuse of players in previous jobs, embattled Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters resigned Friday.

General manager Brad Treliving made the announcement at a Calgary press conference saying Peters voluntarily sent him a resignation letter earlier that morning.

“This is the most difficult thing in my career,” Treliving told reporters.

“The subject matter we’ve been dealing with over the last few days is difficult, it’s hard, and it does not in any way reflect the core values of the Calgary Flames.”

Geoff Ward will take over as interim head coach. Ward had been acting as caretaker head coach while Peters was sidelined during investigations into the allegations and led the Flames to a 3-2 overtime win at Buffalo on Wednesday.

“For me it really hasn’t sunk in yet and it’s going to take a little bit of time,” Ward said after Calgary’s first home practice since the controversy began.

“I’m still reeling from it myself. Our focus right now is trying to prepare to play the Ottawa Senators and all the other stuff for us has to stay in the background.”

Peters’ resignation comes after former NHL player Akim Aliu tweeted Monday night that he had a racial slur directed his way by a former coach in 2009-10 while a member of the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

The 30-year-old Aliu, a player of colour, never referred to Peters by name, but did reference Calgary’s airport code “YYC” when writing about the alleged coach involved in the matter.

Then on Tuesday, former NHL defenceman Michal Jordan alleged Peters kicked him while the two were with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Peters issued an apology in a letter addressed to Treliving on Wednesday night.

The apology did not mention Aliu, who released his own statement on Twitter on Thursday calling Peters’ letter “misleading, insincere and concerning.”

Peters’ resignation comes after a lengthy process that included investigations by the Flames and the NHL.

“If I’ve not met anyone’s time agenda, I apologize but it was more important to make sure we get all of the information.”

Treliving said he personally found the allegations against Peters “repulsive” but the investigation had to be done fairly.

“I know everybody wants a really quick gavel to come into play. We had to make sure it was done thoroughly.”

The NHL said in a statement that its review of the incident is ongoing and that interviews with “relevant individuals” including Aliu are scheduled.

Forward Matthew Tkachuk said news of Peters’ resignation was expected.

“I think that it was most likely the best outcome for what the team had put into their investigation and with the allegations and everything,” Tkachuk said.

“I mean this investigation took however many days and I felt they did a good job of it.”

Flames captain Mark Giordano said the past four days have been tough and the only escape for the players was on the ice.

“At the end of the day all we can do as players is move forward. We know in society there’s no place for that and the decision, however they came to it, was made,” he said.

“I think they did a good job.”

READ MORE: Hockey reckoning amid renewed call for independent body to probe abuse

The Canadian 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

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Wilkinson would have been a great premier: Shypitka

Re-elected Kootenay East MLA responds to resignation of party leader

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Tom Shypitka, pictured with his campaign team. on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. Trevor Crawley photo
Updated: Shypitka wins second term; BC NDP cruise to majority

“Election Days,” rather than “Election Day,” may be the more accurate term… Continue reading

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
Police situation leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Okanagan school

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of Kelowna school

The outbreak is the first within B.C.’s school system since classes resumed back in September

Most Read