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Akim Aliu will meet with NHL, calls Peters' apology 'misleading'

Frederick Breedon / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Akim Aliu will meet with the NHL to discuss Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters' use of a racial slur toward the player 10 years ago when they were with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs.

Aliu released a statement Thursday in which he said Peters' apology on Wednesday was "misleading, insincere, and concerning."

Peters said in his statement that he apologized at the time for directing "offensive language" toward Aliu. However, the player gave a different account, as he said Peters called him into his office and didn't apologize, but rather continued to use the same racial slur.

The former blue-liner said Peters directed the N-word at him multiple times in response to Aliu's choice of music.

"He then walked out like nothing ever happened," Aliu said. "You could hear a pin drop in the room. Everything went dead silent. I just sat down in my stall, didn't say a word."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman can step in and punish Peters under Article VI of the NHL Constitution, according to Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann.

Article VI states the commissioner is "charged with protecting the integrity of the game of professional hockey and preserving public confidence in the league."

Under Section 6.3(b), the commissioner has "exclusive jurisdiction and authority" to rule over "any dispute involving a member club or clubs, or any players or employees of the league or any member club or clubs, or any combination thereof, that in the opinion of the commissioner is detrimental to the best interests of the league or professional hockey or involves or affects league policy."

However, Bettman's responsibilities under the constitution don't explicitly cover incidents that occurred prior to an NHL team employing the person in question, McCann notes.

Additionally, former Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan said Peters physically abused a number of players while serving as the head coach of Carolina from 2014 to 2018. Peters made no mention of Jordan's comments in his apology.

The 53-year-old bench boss didn't coach the Flames when they played the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday as the club continues its investigation.

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