This week several former players have come out to speak their mind about interactions with former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock. As part of the wave of stories on social media, former NHL player Akim Aliu spoke out about a Babcock protege, Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters, and their time together with the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Peters was the head coach of the IceHogs when Aliu was a rookie in 2009-10. The 30-year old alleges that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times” in the team’s locker room because of Aliu’s music choices.
Flames GM Brad Treliving addressed the media after last night’s Flames game:
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 want to address you people – we’re aware of it. Made aware of it during the game here this evening. Like I said, I haven’t had a chance to talk to Bill. I will be doing that and until such time we won’t have any further comment about it but we will address it and get back to you people once we have a chance to speak internally.
The NHL also released a short statement on the situation:
The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant an unacceptable. We will have no further comment until we have had an opportunity to look into the matter thoroughly.
Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the NHL and Flames have been in contact regarding the situation and are expected to have “further discussions” today. Peters was hired by the Flames in 2018 and is under contract through the 2020-21 season.
Frank Seravalli of TSN also spoke to some of Aliu’s teammates who backed up the allegations, describing the incident in detail. Aliu also got on record to explain the situation fully, telling Seravalli that he regrets not standing up for himself and others at the time.