The Calgary Flames have officially announced that Head Coach Bill Peters is no longer with the Flames. This comes after a team investigation into racially insensitive remarks he made towards former Flames forward Akim Aliu. The team had a press conference on Friday morning to announce the news. In that, General Manager Brad Treliving announced Peters submitted a letter of resignation which was accepted immediately.
Brad Treliving says Bill Peters sent a letter of resignation, which was accepted. Peters is “no longer a member of the Calgary #Flames effectively immediately.”
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) November 29, 2019
Bill Peters Out
These reports and subsequent investigations have dominated conversation this week. Peters has since made an apology that Aliu called “misleading, insincere, and concerning.” Additionally, reports have come out that Peters may have also physically punched and/or kicked his players in additionally to verbally berating them.
Peters was likely on the chopping block already but these sorts of events add extra motivation to move on from the 54-year-old coach. He has been the Flames’ coach since 2018-19 with a 62-37 record. His overall NHL record is 199-175 split between Calgary and the Carolina Hurricanes. It is highly unlikely he will receive any job offers for some time in light of what has come out recently.
What This Means for the Future
The Flames have already played one game without its now-former coach. Geoff Ward led the team in its recent overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres. That victory moved the Flames into a tie for the second wild card in the Western Conference. It will take serious effort to make the playoffs but radical turnarounds happen in many seasons. Last year’s St. Louis Blues are one such example while the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing much better since firing Mike Babcock.
This firing shows that overly abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. The NHL has focused a lot of time and energy into ensuring hockey is an inclusive sport for players and fans of all backgrounds. Bill Peters has been fired for some of the same reasons as Don Cherry. Intolerance such as theirs has no place in the modern world when the NHL is trying to create the most inclusive sport it can.