Former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters signed a two-year contract to coach in Russia’s KHL.
He is taking the helm of Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist, nearly five months after resigning as Flames’ coach after former players accused him of using racial slurs while coaching in the American Hockey League a decade ago.
Last November, former NHL player Akim Aliu detailed on social media how he was the target of racially charged language from an unnamed person when he played for the Rockford Ice Hogs of the AHL in the 2009-10 season. In an interview with TSN, Aliu later confirmed he was speaking about Peters.
Aliu was in charge of selecting the Ice Hogs’ locker room music. Peters didn’t like his hip-hop choices, Aliu said.
“He walked in before a morning pre-game skate and said, ‘Hey Akim, I’m sick of you playing that (slur, expletive),’” Aliu told TSN, with Peters, who was then the Ice Hogs head coach, referring to Aliu’s taste in music. “He said ‘I’m sick of hearing this (slur, expletive) other (slur) in the (expletive) stuff.’ “
Other former players later came forward, alleging physical abuse.
Peters, 53, discussed his resignation from Calgary in a video conference with Russian media on Wednesday morning.
“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.”
Avtomobilist finished in second place in its division but lost in the first round of the playoffs. The league canceled the rest of the playoffs because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Peters also coached the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-18.
—Field Level Media