Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving spoke to the media Friday to address the news that Bill Peters’ time as head coach of the club has come to an end.
“This morning I received a letter of resignation from Bill Peters, which I accepted,” Treliving told reporters gathered at the Scotiabank Saddledome. “Effective immediately, Bill Peters is no longer a member of the Calgary Flames organization.”
Treliving detailed the timeline of events over the course of the past week, starting with Monday during the Flames’ game in Pittsburgh, when a tweet from former NHLer Akim Aliu emerged, detailing Peters’ alleged use of a racial slur in the locker room when he and Aliu were both part of the Rockford IceHogs AHL organization.
“Post-game, prior to departing to Buffalo, I made a call and contacted Akim Aliu, which was the first of two conversations that I had with Akim throughout this review,” Treliving said. “On the plane — we were going from Pittsburgh to Buffalo — I sat with Bill and questioned him about the incident in question, and had a long conversation with Bill.”
Arriving in Buffalo, the club began their review of the incident in Rockford, which involved first consulting with their own players to ensure no incidents had occurred in Calgary “where people were put in situations they were not comfortable with” and also reaching out to former IceHogs players and members of the Chicago Blackhawks organization for further information on what had transpired.
“…Later that night, too, I communicated with Bill that he would not be part of the team [on an] immediate basis.”
Assistant coach Geoff Ward was handed control of the Flames bench as the team conducted its investigation. Treliving said Friday that Ward will serve as the interim head coach moving forward.
Later learning of the allegations made by former NHL defender Michal Jordan, which alleged two incidents of physical abuse of players during their time together in Carolina, Treliving said the organization then reached out to past and current members of the Hurricanes management staff as well.
Peters issued a public statement on Wednesday in the form of a letter to Treliving, which was also sent to the general manager, before submitting his resignation Friday.
From the outside, many wondered why the process was taking so long to come to a conclusion this week, and Treliving also touched on that, saying:
“This was something that needed to be handled correctly, it needed to be handled in a timely fashion, but I was not going to trade carelessness for thoroughness.”
The Flames players took to the ice for a practice Friday morning and will play their next game Saturday at home to Ottawa.
“The subject matter that we’ve been dealing with over the last few days is difficult, it’s hard. And it does not in any way reflect the core values of the Calgary Flames,” an emotional Treliving said.
“It’s been a difficult time, but we are going to move forward.”