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Aliu calls Flames head coach's apology 'misleading, insincere and concerning'

Akim Aliu is not happy with the apology Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters issued for a racial slur he allegedly used when both were in the minors 10 years ago.

The former NHL player released his own statement Thursday on Twitter, saying he found Peters' statement to be "misleading, insincere and concerning."

Calgary Flames' Akim Aliu, from Nigeria, celebrates his first NHL goal during first period NHL hockey action against the Anaheim Ducks in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 7, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary Flames' Akim Aliu, from Nigeria, celebrates his first NHL goal during first period NHL hockey action against the Anaheim Ducks in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 7, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Aliu says he has accepted an invitation from the NHL to discuss the situation and will not make any further comments until after the meeting.

Peters issued a letter last night to multiple media outlets, apologizing to the Flames and general manager Brad Treliving. The letter did not mention Aliu.

In a letter addressed to Treliving released to multiple news outlets, Peters said he used "offensive language ... in a professional setting a decade ago."

Peters called it an "isolated and immediately regrettable incident."

The statement drew criticism from some on social media.

Former NHL player Georges Laraque tweeted "The @NHLFlames and the @NHL can now finally conclude their investigation and fire him, what more can they need after this...?

Aliu tweeted Monday that Peters directed racial slurs towards him when both were with the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs — the Chicago Blackhawks' top farm team — in 2009-10.

Born in Nigeria and raised in Ukraine and Canada, Aliu never referred to Peters by name, but used Calgary's airport code "YYC" when writing about a coach who allegedly "dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn't like my choice of music."

Aliu has not responded to interview requests from The Canadian Press.

Peters did not coach the Flames on Wednesday night when Calgary won in Buffalo against the Sabres.

After the game, Treliving said the Flames' investigation was ongoing and added there was a chance of another update on Thursday.

The Flames were scheduled to be off Thursday before returning to practice Friday in Calgary. Their next game is Saturday against the visiting Ottawa Senators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2019.

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