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Ex-Flames coach Bill Peters in talks to join AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm
By Mike Gould1 year ago
Former Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters, who resigned from the team in 2019 amid allegations of racist conduct, is set to be unveiled as the head coach of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Grande Prairie Storm.
Multiple sources around the AJHL have confirmed to FlamesNation that Peters, who was dismissed last November by Kontinental Hockey League club Avtomobolist Yekaterinburg, will be announced as Storm head coach in the coming days.
Rod Pedersen was the first to publicly report the news of Peters joining the Storm, sharing it to Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
Peters’ hiring comes in the wake of discussions between the Storm and both the AJHL and Hockey Canada; sources indicate neither governing body has moved, at this point, to prevent the Storm from hiring the 55-year-old coach.
Back in November 2019, former National Hockey League player Akim Aliu accused Peters of using racist slurs against him in the locker room during his tenure with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
“[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,” Aliu wrote on Twitter. “First one to admit I rebelled against him. Wouldn’t you?”
In the following days, former Carolina Hurricanes player Michal Jordan accused Peters of physically abusing him and a teammate on the bench during a game. Rod Brind’Amour, who served as an assistant coach under Peters for four seasons, subsequently corroborated Jordan’s claims.
Peters resigned as head coach of the Flames on Nov. 29, 2019. He joined KHL Yekaterinburg as head coach the following April but was dismissed less than two years later due to poor team performance.
According to sources familiar with the situation in Grande Prairie, Peters will be joined by his 17-year-old son, Ayden, with the Storm. Ayden Peters played the 2021–22 season with the Calgary Edge School and was listed by the Storm as an affiliate player in January.
Peters will replace Mike Vandekamp behind the Storm bench. Vandecamp spent the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons as Grande Prairie’s head coach and general manager, most recently guiding the team to a last-place finish in the AJHL North Division. Mark Bomersback replaced Vandecamp as Storm general manager on April 4.
After serving as an assistant on Mike Babcock’s coaching staff with the Detroit Red Wings for three seasons, Peters spent 356 regular-season NHL games as head coach with the Hurricanes and Flames between 2014 and 2019.
Peters’ Hurricanes missed the playoffs in all four of his seasons with the team; the Flames won the Pacific Division in 2018–19, Peters’ only full season as head coach, but lost to the Colorado Avalanche in five games in the 2019 first round.
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