PITTSBURGH — On Monday night former NHL forward Akim Aliu accused current Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters of making several racist comments toward him during Aliu’s first pro season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
He never specifically mentioned Peters by name, but referred to a Mike Babcock “protege in YYC” making several racist comments toward him in the locker room over Aliu’s choice of music.
Rockford’s coach during Aliu’s first two seasons in Rockford was Peters.
These tweets were made while the Flames were in the middle of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Following the game the Flames locker room remained closed for longer than normal. Before the team opened their room to the media, general manager Brad Treliving delivered a brief statement addressing the Tweets.
That statement was as follows:
“During tonight’s game I was made aware of a tweet from former player Akim Aliu. Obviously we were playing so 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. I would say we take these matters very, very seriously. Until such time as we have a chance to speak about it internally, we obviously wanted to address you people. We are aware of it. We were made aware of it during the game this evening. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Bill, I will be doing that. Until such time we will not have any further comment on it. We will address it and get back to you once we have a chance to speak internally.”
The Flames did not make Peters available for comment after the game.
Aliu played for Peters during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons in Rockford before he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in a seven-player trade in June 2010. Two years later he was traded to the Flames and later made his NHL debut during the 2011-12 season. He appeared in seven NHL games for the team.
UPDATE: The NHL released a statement on Tuesday morning: