Thursday: Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet notes that the Flames’ investigation is “reaching its conclusion.” Friedman believes that Peters will be removed as head coach of the Flames.
Wednesday: A letter from Peters to Treliving has been shared by Sportsnet’s Eric Francis. In the letter, Peters admits to using the offensive language described by Aliu during the incident in question. It’s unclear at this point how this admission will impact the ongoing investigation, as well as the Flames’ ultimate decision.
Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters was already on the hot seat after a surprisingly poor start to the season. However, he came under fire this week for an entirely different reason, facing accusations of unacceptable off-ice conduct regarding former player Akim Aliu. The repercussions of an ongoing joint investigation between the Flames, NHL, and NHLPA are already being felt. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that Peters has left the team and there is a chance he may not return.
As of right now, Peters remains the head coach in Calgary. However, he will not be behind the bench for the team tonight in Buffalo and into the foreseeable future. GM Brad Treliving is the only member of the player operations side of the organization staying in contact with Peters, as his coaching staff, and associate head coach Geoff Ward in particular, have take complete control over the team. Seravalli believes that the situation could be permanent, as he reports that “it seems to be trending towards Peters losing his job.”
However, he warns that this is not a simple process. There is no precedent for an NHL coach to be fired for off-ice conduct, making this investigation and the decision on how to handle the results brand new ground for the league and the Flames. There is also legal red tape that Calgary must traverse in order to fire Peters for-cause. Seravalli has spoken with several of Aliu’s former teammates, all of whom have backed up his allegations against Peters, so it is very likely that the investigation comes to same conclusions that the coach is indeed guilty of these accusations. If so, he will almost certainly be fired. However, the parting of ways will be neither quick nor clean for the Flames.