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Flames say they're investigating alleged racial slur by coach

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/11/2019 (331 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters gives instruction during training camp in Calgary, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The Calgary Flames say they are looking into recent allegations made by a former NHL player that head coach Bill Peters used a racial slur against him 10 years ago. Defenceman Akim Aliu tweeted on Monday night that he had racism directed his way by a former coach in 2009-10 while a member of the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters gives instruction during training camp in Calgary, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The Calgary Flames say they are looking into recent allegations made by a former NHL player that head coach Bill Peters used a racial slur against him 10 years ago. Defenceman Akim Aliu tweeted on Monday night that he had racism directed his way by a former coach in 2009-10 while a member of the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Calgary Flames say they are looking into recent allegations made by a former NHL player that head coach Bill Peters used a racial slur against him 10 years ago.

Defenceman Akim Aliu tweeted on Monday night that he had racism 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 never referred to Peters by name, but he did reference Calgary's airport code "YYC" as the alleged coach involved in the matter.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving addressed the media when he was made aware of the tweet, and says he plans to speak with Peters before making any further comment on the matter.

The accusation came while Calgary was on the ice in Pittsburgh facing the Penguins. Peters was not available for comment post-game.

"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," Treliving told reporters. "I would say we take this matter very very seriously and until such time we have a chance to speak internally we wanted to address you people that we're aware of it."

Aliu's allegation comes on the heels of reported controversial tactics used on rookies by Mike Babcock, who was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20.

Peters served as one of Babcock's assistant's for two seasons in the late '90's with the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs.

Peters would take on the head coaching position with Rockford for the 2008-09 season, spending three seasons with the IceHogs before rejoining Babcock as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings in 2011.

Aliu, who was born in Nigeria before moving to Canada, tweeted: "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. 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, who played 14 games for the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears in 2018-19, played 48 games under Peters with the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10, and 13 more with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye.

The IceHogs are the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted Aliu 56th overall in 2007 out of the Ontario Hockey League.

At the time of the alleged incident, John McDonough was president of the Blackhawks while Stan Bowman was general manager.

Aliu added: "First one to ...admit I rebelled against him. Wouldn't you? And instead of remedying the situation, he wrote a letter to John McDonough and Stan Bowman to have me sent down to the ECHL. 20 year old on pace for 20 goals in his first pro year with zero PP/PK time was off to a great start in his ...Pro career."

Aliu has played seven career games in the NHL, all with the Flames between 2011 and 2013.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2019.

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