The NHL has been in the news for the past few days, but not for the reasons they intended. The bad headlines in particular surround current Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters and ex-Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
Peters has been accused by former NHL player Akim Aliu for racist comments made towards him in the minor leagues, while Babcock is under scrutiny for asking then-rookie Mitch Marner to rank the hardest-working/least-hardest working players on the team.
Aliu played under Peters during their time with AHL's Rockford IceHogs, the minor league affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, back in 2009-10. During their tenure, Aliu alleged the coach dropped the n-word numerous times due to the choice of music he had playing in the locker room.
Aliu continued, saying Peters escalated the situation by continuing to complain about the music instead of apologizing during a private meeting. Peters would later ask Blackhawks president John McDonough and general manager Stan Bowman to demote him to the ECHL.
According toTSN's Frank Seravelli, Aliu's former teammates, Peter MacArthur and Simon Pepin, confirmed the allegations.
As for Babcock, he was under scrutiny for asking Marner to rank his teammates from hardest-working to least-hardest back in 2017 when he was a rookie, according to TSN. Marner revealed that his teammates didn't take his evaluations seriously, due to him being a rookie following his coach's orders.
Marner did downplay the incident, saying his relationship with Babcock improved over the years, but stressed his main focus is on new bench boss Sheldon Keefe.
Bill Peters was previously coached by Mike Babcock in college, and was made a member of his Detroit Red Wings coaching staff from 2011-14. Peters is currently under investigation by the NHL, and his job with the Calgary Flames hangs in the balance.