Bill Peters has resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames, GM Brad Treliving said during a press conference on Friday.
The decision came following a firestorm of allegations in which Peters was accused of using racial slurs and abusive behavior toward former players.
Former NHLer Akim Aliu, who played under Peters at the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2009-10 season, tweeted Tuesday that the coach repeatedly used racial slurs toward him before a morning skate. Aliu’s tweet quickly prompted reactions from others who played under Peters, with accusations of physical and verbal abuse coming from two other players.
The NHL denounced Peters’ behavior as “repugnant and unacceptable” on Tuesday morning but offered no further comment until the matter was looked into more thoroughly, followed shortly by Flames general manager Brad Treliving dousing rumors that Peters had already been fired. Treliving stressed the need for a “thorough” investigation before making a decision. In the end, it was Peters’ decision to step away from the Flames organization.
On Wednesday, Peters issued an apology to GM Brad Treliving saying, “Please accept this as a sincere apology to you, and the entire Calgary Flames organization, for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago,” read the statement, which he also sent to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportnet’s Eric Francis at the same time as Treliving. “I know that my comments have been the source of both anger and disappointment, and I understand why.”
Peters, 53, had been the head coach of the Flames since April 23, 2018. Before joining Calgary, Peters served four seasons as bench boss of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was absent from the team in Wednesday’s 3-2 OT win against Buffalo.