The Calgary Flames are investigating former Rockford IceHogs head coach Bill Peters, following the accusation that Peters directed racial slurs at a player while with the IceHogs, according to a report in The New York Times.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving is overseeing the investigation into Peters, and on Tuesday said he's spoken to the coach and Aliu plus many others.
The tweet did not name Peters specifically, but referred to a "protégé" of dismissed Toronto coach Mike Babcock, who is now in Calgary.
Aliu's allegation comes on the heels of reported controversial tactics used on rookies by Mike Babcock, who was sacked by the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 20. "This is a subject matter that has no place in our organization and so the magnitude and the serious nature that we take this allegation is very high", said Treliving.
The NHL called the alleged behaviour "repugnant and unacceptable," but held off commenting pending further investigation.
Peters, who is now head coach of the Flames, has not commented on Aliu's accusations. Aliu said Peters later called him into his office to discuss the matter but did not apologize, instead using the racist language again to express his displeasure in the music choice. Aliu, now 30, last played for the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears in 2018-19. Another former Hurricane said he was hit in the head by Peters on the bench during a game, but the player chose to remain anonymous.
The 57-year-old native of Waterloo, Ont., started his coaching career in 1989 as an assistant at the University of Waterloo and spent some time with the junior "B" Waterloo Siskins before coaching with the Ontario Hockey League's Niagara Falls Thunder through the 1992-93 season. Peters wasn't on the ice during practice. Akim Aliu, a Nigerian-born player, says Peters "dropped the N bomb several times" in a dressing room during his rookie year.
"This isn't me being bitter", Aliu told TSN. "I was too scared to speak up", he said to TSN.
"Not very surprising the things we're hearing about Babcock", Aliu tweeted. The league added that she will not comment further until she investigates what happened more thoroughly.
A claim of racism by Peters from a former player - backed up by teammates - has come out in the last 24 hours.
Peters was hired by former Canes general manager Ron Francis in 2014 and coached through the 2017-18 season.
Aliu played under Peters during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Aliu also appeared in 13 games for the ECHL's Toledo Walleye in '09-10.
Akim Aliu played his entire National Hockey League career with the Calgary Flames from 2011 to 2013. The team added that this had no impact on the player personnel decisions involving Aliu.
"If the Flames fire Peters, they could argue the firing is "for cause" or 'with cause.' This would mean that Peters is fired for conduct that betrays core provisions of the employment contract", McCann wrote.