NHL, Calgary Flames investigating claim Bill Peters made racist comments to former player

Sporting News

As the Calgary Flames were facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night, head coach Bill Peters was being accused of racist comments by a former player on social media.

Akim Aliu, who played for Peters with the Chicago Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, tweeted about former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock saying, "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."

MORE: Former players speak out against Mike Babcock

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While he didn't mention Peters by name, the Flames head coach did work with Babcock with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League and the Detroit Red Wings.

Aliu, who is of Nigerian descent, claimed that his former coach, "Dropped the N bomb several times toward me" while also asking Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and president John McDonough to send Aliu to the ECHL after Aliu admits he rebelled.

Following the Flames' 3-2 overtime loss, Peters was not made available to the media, as per Postmedia's Wes Gilbertson . General manager Brad Treliving did speak to reporters after the game.

“During tonight’s game, I was made aware of a tweet from former player Akim Aliu, and obviously I haven't had a chance to sit down with Bill or our people internally to talk about this and get to the bottom of it. We take these matters very very seriously, so until such time as we have a chance to speak about it internally ... we won't have any further comment about it," Treliving told reporters.

The Flames and NHL later released a statement on the matter.

"Through social media, we became aware of this issue during the game this evening. We take these matters very seriously. We want to complete a full and proper investigation before we provide any further comments," the statement read.

A second former player named Sean McMorrow tweeted on Tuesday that Peters was "the worst human being ever to to ever coach me" and wrote that the coach treated him poorly during his 25-game stint with the IceHogs in 2008-09.

Aliu played 53 games under Peters over two seasons in Rockford registering 13 goals and six assists. He was sent down during the 2009-10 season to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye. Later in his career he was a member of the Flames organization and played in seven NHL games scoring two goals and an assist.

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