Ex-Carolina GM Ron Francis issues statement on Bill Peters physical assault allegations

A day after Bill Peters resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames, his former boss in Carolina spoke out about his conduct with the Hurricanes.

'I took this matter very seriously,' current GM of Seattle expansion team says

Ron Francis, the current GM of the as-yet unnamed NHL expansion team in Seattle, issued a release on Saturday addressing allegations of physical assault surrounding Bill Peters. Francis was the GM of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Peters the team's head coach, at the time of the alleged incident. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

A day after Bill Peters resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames following an allegation that he used a racial slur against a former player while both were in the minor leagues, his former boss in Carolina spoke out about his conduct with the Hurricanes.

Former Carolina general manager Ron Francis issued a statement Saturday afternoon describing an instance where after a game, a group of Hurricanes players and staff members told him of alleged physical incidents involving two players and Peters.

"I took this matter very seriously. I took immediate action to address the matter and briefed ownership," said Francis, who is now the GM of the as-yet unnamed expansion team in Seattle. "To my knowledge, no further such incidents occurred."

Francis's statement runs contrary to that of Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, who on Wednesday told the Seattle Times that he would have fired Peters in a "nanosecond" had he been made aware of the physical-abuse allegations.

Also on Wednesday, current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour corroborated the allegations of physical assault during a media availability. 

Brind'Amour was working as an assistant for the Carolina Hurricanes under Peters during the time when the physical abuse was alleged to have occurred.

WATCH | Carolina coach Brind'Amour discusses physical abuse allegations against Peters:

Rod Brind'Amour confirms incidents involving Bill Peters 

2 years ago
Duration 1:35
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour confirms allegations by former player Michal Jordan that Bill Peters kicked Jordan and punched another player during a game.

"To me, it's what happened after that I'm proud about actually, the way the players handled it, and the way the support staff handled it, which was to bring it to management right away," Brind'Amour said.

"And then management handled it directly and never heard of it again. And never saw anything else after that. So, it was definitely dealt with, in my opinion, correctly, and that's the last I need to talk about it."

Peters resigned as head coach of the Flames on Friday after former NHL player Akim Aliu tweeted Monday night that he was the target of a racial slur by a former coach during the 2009-2010 season while a member of the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.

The 30-year-old Aliu, who born in Nigeria and raised in Ukraine and Canada, never referred to Peters by name, but did reference Calgary's airport code "YYC" when writing about the coach allegedly involved in the matter.

On Tuesday, former NHL defenceman Michal Jordan alleged Peters struck him and another player while the two were with the Hurricanes.

Peters issued an apology in a letter addressed to Calgary GM Brad Treliving on Wednesday night and, following an investigation by the Flames and NHL, resigned on Friday.

"It would have been inappropriate of me to comment publicly while an active investigation was being conducted by another team," Francis said in Saturday's statement. "I will not comment on this matter further."

Aliu, for his part, called Peters's apology "misleading, insincere and concerning." Peters's statement also made no mention of Jordan and his allegation.

With files from CBC Sports


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