Ex-Flames coach Bill Peters signs two-year deal with KHL’s Avtomobilist

Former Flames head coach Bill Peters has signed a two-year deal with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the KHL. Arash Madani and Chris Johnston discuss Peters’ move to Russia.

Former Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters — whose resignation last year after allegations of racial and physical abuse came to light sparked a reckoning in the NHL — has a signed a two-year deal with the KHL’s Avtomobilist, the league announced Wednesday.

“I think as time goes on we all grow and improve and become better versions of ourselves, and I’m no different than that. You learn from all the experiences that you’re in, and you become better,” Peters said during a video conference call with Russian media.

“It’s no different right now, going through a very trying time right now in the world with the global pandemic, and 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 toward each other and more patient.”

It’s not clear when Peters will join Avtomobilist amid Russia’s extensive travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The KHL abandoned its 2019-20 season last month in the middle of the playoffs.

Peters resigned from his post with the Flames on Nov. 29 shortly after Akim Aliu revealed on Twitter that his former coach used the N-word against him several times while with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs a decade ago.

Soon after, Michal Jordan also accused Peters of kicking him on the bench while he was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes and punching another unnamed player. The story was later corroborated by Rod Brind’Amour, now Hurricanes head coach and an assistant at the time of those incidents.

The revelations set off a reckoning in the NHL as further incidents of abuse in hockey, related to Aliu and others were exposed.

In response, the NHL released a “zero tolerance” plan in hopes of changing hockey culture and to prevent and handle other incidents of inappropriate conduct.

Geoff Ward was named interim head coach of the Flames after Peters’ resignation and continues to hold that title.

With files from The Associated Press.

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