Rick Zamperin: Bill Peters has apologized, but he should not keep his job

Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters (centre) during a game against the Dallas Stars in Calgary, AB. on Nov. 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters has issued a formal apology to General Manager Brad Treliving in light of racist comments he made 10 years ago against one of his former players.

News broke Monday night that Peters used the ‘N’ word when blasting Akim Aliu’s choice of music in the dressing room during their time together as coach and player with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

On Wednesday, Peters offered an apology to Treliving and the Flames organization “for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago,” he wrote.

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Peters goes on to say that he understands why his comments “have been the source of both anger and disappointment,” and calls the incident “isolated” and “regrettable,” adding that he takes responsibility for what he said.

Peters says “the statement was made in a moment of frustration and does not reflect my personal values,” adding that he apologizes “to anyone negatively affected by my words.”

The 54-year-old native of Three Hills, Alta., ends his letter to Treliving by saying that he appreciates the “thorough review” by the Flames, adding that “it’s the right thing to do.”

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Welcome to a new era in the National Hockey League

With the investigation in full swing, Peters was not behind the bench for Calgary’s 3-2 overtime win in Buffalo Wednesday night, and I have a feeling that he won’t ever return.

Never mind that Peters didn’t even mention Aliu by name in his apology, nor did he touch on allegations that he kicked and punched two other players while he was a coach with the Caroline Hurricanes just a few years ago — claims that have been corroborated by current Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

READ MORE: Ex-NHLer Daniel Carcillo alleges verbal abuse by long-time coach Darryl Sutter

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In my opinion, the upside of retaining Peters is greatly outweighed by the blowback the Flames would receive by making such a move.

Peters made a horrible mistake and it is nice to see that he has apologized — even if it does come across as ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ — but it’s not nearly enough for him to keep his job.

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