Four days after Bill Peters was accused of making racist remarks and physically abusing players, the Calgary Flames and their controversial head coach have parted ways.
Flames GM Brad Treliving addressed the matter in a press conference on Friday afternoon. Following a lengthy internal investigation, Peters reportedly submitted his letter of resignation on Friday morning.
Assistant coach Geoff Ward will take over behind the Flames bench on an interim basis.
“We knew nothing of any nature that we’ve been dealing with the last couple of days,” said Treliving at his press conference.
The controversy surrounding Peters began on Monday, when former NHLer Akim Aliu took to Twitter to reveal that Peters had directed racist remarks towards him when the two were with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2019-10. Aliu alleges that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times” because the coach reportedly didn't appreciate the player's choice of music.
The very next day, former Hurricanes defenceman Michal Jordan shared a story on Twitter that alleged Peters was physically abusive back when the coach was with Carolina between 2014 and 2018. Jordan says Peters kicked him and punched another player in the head during a game several years ago.
Flames GM Brad Treliving addressed the racism allegations with the media during Monday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, stating that the organization takes this kind of situation “very, very seriously.” Two days later, with Calgary’s internal investigation well under way, the Flames announced that Peters had left the organization. He remained employed by the team until today’s announcement.
Peters apologized for the racist remarks earlier this week, saying that it was an “isolated and immediately regrettable incident.” He made no mention of the alleged physical abuse brought to light by Jordan.
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour confirmed that Peters did, in fact, abuse two players when the coach was in Carolina, saying that “management handled it correctly and we never heard of it again.” Ron Francis, who is currently the GM of the new Seattle franchise, was working in that capacity with the Hurricanes when Jordan took his complaints against Peters to management.
But one day after Brind’Amour’s statement about how the situation was handled, ex-Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos revealed that he was never made aware of Peters’ alleged physical abuse.
“I’m pretty upset,” said Karmanos, according to Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker. “And I have my calls in to Ronnie (Ron Francis) as well. I think he’s the one who’s going to have to tell people what he did when he found out that the coach had done these things.”
Karmanos sold the Hurricanes to current owner Thomas Dundon in December of 2017. Francis and Peters remained with the organization until the former was fired — for issues not related to Peters — in April of 2018. Peters immediately resigned and subsequently took the head coaching job in Calgary.
As of this writing, Francis has yet to address his role in the Peters controversy in Carolina. The Seattle organization has also declined to comment on the situation.
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