Last week CBC news announced that Bill Peters made a return to professional hockey on Wednesday when he was named as the new coach of KHL hockey club Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. It’s an interesting landing for Peters who had resigned as the head coach of the Calgary Flames in November 2019 after allegations came forth that he had previously used racial slurs and struck players.
That fact was something Peters didn’t ignore during his video conference call with the Russian media. Specifically, he admitted: “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.”
He added, “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 towards each other and more patient.”
It’s Not Clear When Peters Can Join His New Team
During the video conference, Peters was speaking remotely and there’s no clarity yet on how soon remote becomes close. It isn’t clear at all when he could join Avtomobilist. Similar to North America, Russia has extensive travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Peters also noted, “The future is a little bit unpredictable, obviously. It’s going to take us time to come out of us situation that we’re in as far as the global pandemic, but I’m excited about the opportunity to go to the KHL and challenge myself to be able to do a good job for a full season, two seasons, however long it might be.”
Chasing the Elephant from the NHL Dressing Room
The allegations against Peters about both racial and physical abuse from several of his former players caused quite a stir. After Peters resigned, the NHL created a “zero tolerance” policy as a proactive way to protect its players and to try to revise part of hockey culture that’s been present for decades – the elephant in the room.
Peters’ replacement Geoff Ward was quick to congratulate Peters on the hiring: “Billy is a good coach. He made a mistake, but he’s an awful good man, in spite of the fact the mistake did happen. It’s nice to see that he’s getting another opportunity. And I think that based on his knowledge of the game and what he’s like as a coach, he will go over there and have some success. I think he’s done some things to atone for what was occurred … Seeing that and people and recognizing that, I think are important,” (from “Former Flames coach Bill Peters hired by KHL team,” Wes Gilbertson, Calgary Sun, 16/04/20).
Akim Aliu Believes Peters Should Have a Second Chance
Interestingly also, Akim Aliu who was one of Peters’ main accusers also weighed in to say that he believes everyone, including Peters, should get a second chance. Aliu has accused Peters of directing racial slurs at him during the 2009-10 season. Before he resigned, Peters apologized for his actions toward Aliu.
Aliu stated: “Hockey is for all. I believe in second chances for everyone, that we can all find forgiveness in our heart, and that real, positive change is coming if we continue to push forward together. I don’t resent a man for finding work, but I will fight to make sure those same opportunities are available to everyone, on and off the ice, regardless of race or ethnicity,” (from “Treliving wishes Peters well with KHL coaching gig,” Kristen Anderson, Calgary Sun, 17/04/20).
Good Luck to Both Peters and Aliu
Here at NHLTradeTalk.com, we wish both Peters and Aliu success in fulfilling their wish to play and coach hockey. Good luck.
- / 2 hours ago
Two players from the Vancouver Canucks have made TSN Frank Seravalli's Top Ten list...
- / 10 hours ago
The Avalanche had a great season, losing to the Stars in overtime of Game...
- / 13 hours ago
As the Dallas Stars wait to see who wins the Eastern Conference Final, how...
- / 15 hours ago
The Edmonton Oilers actively trying to trade Andreas Athanasiou before he is due a...
- / 16 hours ago
Before the Canadiens traded for Jake Allen, it appears they had their eyes on...
- / 18 hours ago
Pierre LeBrun notes that Canucks winger Loui Eriksson could be on the move and...
- / 20 hours ago
What kind of adjustments will the Golden Knights try and make this Fall?
- / 22 hours ago
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to hire...
- / 22 hours ago
The QMJHL offers a strong class of first round prospects for the the NHL...