Bill Peters signs two-year deal to coach KHL’s Avtomobilist

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Bill Peters has resurfaced and has been given a two-year deal to coach the KHL’s HC Avtomobilist.

Five months ago, Peters resigned as Flames head coach after former players came forward with accusations of racial slurs and physical abuse.

Akim Aliu, who played for Peters with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2008-09 and 2009-10, Tweeted in November that Peters used a racial slur “several times” because he did not like the choice of music being played in the team dressing room.

Those allegations were confirmed by two of Aliu’s Rockford teammates.

Two more of Peters’ former players came forward days later. Michal Jordan alleged he was kicked and punched in the head on the bench by Peters when he played for Carolina. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, an assistant under Peters, confirmed that it had happened.

Sean McMorrow, who played for Peters in 2008-09 with the Ice Hogs, Tweeted, “Worst human being to ever coach me … treated me terrible on a AHL team (IceHogs) where I won a League Award for Community Service. #badguy.”

Peters released a statement offering a ‘sincere apology’ to the Flames and ‘anyone negatively affected.’ He was out of a job two days later after Flames general manager Brad Treliving did an investigation.

On a video conference with KHL media Wednesday morning, Peters was asked about his end in Calgary.

“I think as time goes on we all grow and improve and become better versions of ourselves, and I’m no different than that,” Peters said. “You learn from all the experiences that you’re in and you become better. It’s no different right now, we’re going through a very trying time as a world with the global pandemic. I believe we’re going to come out of this and when we come out of this people are going to be better people for it and more passionate and compassionate towards each other and more patient.”

Peters’ staff in the KHL will include Perry Pearn and German Titov and his roster will feature former NHLers like Nikita Tryamkin, Nigel Dawes (pending free agent), Pavel Datysuk, and Peter Holland.

UPDATE: Treliving said the following after being asked about the former Flames coach’s new gig:

“I’m a big believer in second chances for everyone. Bill made a mistake. He’s a good coach, he’s a good man. He made an error and I certainly wish him well.”

Aliu posted a statement on Twitter Thursday afternoon:

MORE:
‘This is for real:’ Journeyman Aliu sparks hockey reckoning
Aliu calls Flames coach’s apology ‘misleading, insincere’
Bill Peters out as Calgary Flames head coach

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.