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Ex-NHLer accuses former Red Wings assistant coach of using N-word several times

League is looking into accusation against Bill Peters

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Bill Peters, head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, is seen on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (2014 Getty Images)

One of Mike Babcock’s former assistant coaches is facing accusations of racism.

Bill Peters was Babcock’s assistant for three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings between 2011 and 2014. Peters eventually left Detroit for a head coaching job in Carolina, and is now the head coach of the Calgary Flames.

Before the NHL, however, Peters was the head coach of the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. That’s where he coached Akim Aliu, who is now speaking out about the coach and accusing him of using the racial slur “several times," then having him demoted to a lower league over the issue.

Aliu tweeted on Monday:

According to a report from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, the Flames are looking into the accusations against Peters. The NHL released this statement:

“The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable. We will have no futher comment until we have had an opportunity to look into the mater more thorughly.”

This all comes out as several former NHL players (more than just Mike Commodore) are speaking out against Babcock after he was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs last week. In one account, Babcock is accused of asking Leafs forward Mitch Marner, when he was just a rookie, “to list the players on the team from hardest-working to those who, in the eyes of the rookie, didn’t have a strong work ethic." The coach then presented this list to other players.

Marner, one of Toronto’s stars, was of course asked about this story on Monday.

“I’d say it was just surprising,” said Marner. “It was so long ago now, honestly I really kind of forgot about it until the report came out. It’s over with now and done with. I was lucky enough the guys that were there with me, none of them took it to heart and they knew it wasn’t up to me.”

Babcock addressed the story on Monday when talking to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

“I was trying to focus on work ethic with Mitch — focusing on role models — ended up not being a good idea. I apologized at (the) time.”

Related: No reason to think Mike Babcock is returning to Red Wings


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