Bill Peters has resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames in the wake of a former player’s accusations that his onetime coach used racial slurs a decade ago in the minor leagues.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving confirmed Peters’s resignation when he spoke at a news conference Friday in Calgary. Treliving said assistant coach Geoff Ward will be interim head coach.
The controversy has been developing since Monday night, when Akim Aliu tweeted he had racism directed his way by a former coach in 2009-2010 while with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.
Aliu, who was born in Nigeria, did not refer to Peters by name in his tweet, but in a subsequent interview with TSN said it was Peters, a claim corroborated by two other players who were present.
Peters issued an apology in a letter addressed to Flames general manager Brad Treliving two days later. Aliu called the apology “misleading, insincere and concerning.”
The Flames were on a road trip when the controversy broke. Peters was not with the team Wednesday night in Buffalo against the Sabres as the Flames continued an investigation. The NHL also has been investigating.
Ward took over Peters’s role behind the bench in Buffalo.
Former player to speak with NHL
Aliu said Thursday he has accepted an invitation from the NHL to discuss the situation and will not make any further comments until after the meeting.
In his tweet Monday, Aliu alleged Peters “dropped the N bomb several times” toward him in the dressing room in his rookie year because he didn’t like his choice of music.
Calgary was set to practise at home Friday for the first time since the controversy broke and will host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.