December 14th, 2019

Akim Aliu believes change coming after meeting with NHL’s top executives


By The Canadian Press on December 3, 2019.

TORONTO – Former NHL forward Akim Aliu expects “big change” in the league after a meeting with the league’s top two executives on Tuesday.

Aliu met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly in Toronto following his allegation that former Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters used a racial slur several times during the 2009-10 season while the two were with the Chicago Blackhawks’ top minor league affiliate in Rockford, Ill.

The statement started a Flames investigation that ended when Peters resigned last Friday. He apologized to the Flames and general manager Brad Treliving for using “offensive behaviour” in Rockford two days before his resignation.

The NHL has said it is continuing to review the matter.

“It’s been a tough week,” the Nigeria-born Aliu told reporters. “We had some great discussion with Gary and Bill, who couldn’t have been kinder and (more) receptive to the message we’re trying to bring.

“I think there’s some big change coming and it’s long overdue. I’m excited to see it come to fruition.”

While the Flames were investigating, others claimed Peters kicked and punched players behind the bench during his recent time with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The investigation started last Monday when Aliu wrote on Twitter that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2019.

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