‘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

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Dangerous branches delay removal of body in Oak Bay workplace death

Traffic restricted on McNeill Avenue near Byng Road

The Turkey Head Walkway. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay community sees untapped potential in Turkey Head

Part 3 of a closer look at Oak Bay Marina and Turkey Head

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers posing as Amazon customer support. (AP File Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Watch out for Amazon imposters, says scam expert

Better Business Bureau is warning of a rise in Amazon scammers as people online shop more

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan arrives at Luxton Hall to cast their votes in advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Pandemic election prompts voter suppression claims by B.C. Liberals

‘These emergencies require in us a maturity that has been lacking in politics for so long’

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

Most Read