Bill Peters has stepped down as head coach of the Calgary Flames.
General manager Brad Treliving made the announcement Friday at a press conference.
Geoff Ward will take over as interim head coach. He’d been serving as head coach as the Flames investigated allegations against Peters. Ward was behind the bench when Calgary took on the Buffalo Sabres for a 3-2 overtime win on Wednesday.
“The subject matter 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,” Treliving said.
Peters was accused of making racist comments by former player Akim Aliu. The allegations came down on social media Monday.
Since then, Peters had not run a practice for the Flames. He released an apology to the organization Wednesday.
Treliving did not comment on the status of Peters’ contact with Calgary, which pays out a reported $2 million a season. It’s believed that the former head coach has the remainder of this season and next season to go on the deal.
The Flames’ investigation processed three “critical areas,” according to Treliving.
This included a full review, processing the information with current Flames players and keeping the media in the loop. Treliving noted that he’d been in contact with Aliu and other former players, including Michal Jordán. He alleged that Peters kicked him and punched another player on the bench, a narrative corroborated by current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour.
The NHL is continuing its review of the situation and has meetings scheduled with Aliu and other “relevant individuals.” It’s believed the league will meet with Peters.
The Flames, with Ward behind the bench, will face off against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Photo credit: NHL