Ex-Hurricanes owner: I would've fired Bill Peters 'in a nanosecond'

Kyle Cantlon
NHL Editor

We now know for sure that Bill Peters punched and kicked more than one of his players while he was the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. What we don’t know, just yet, is how complicit former upper-management and ownership was in burying the situation.

In light of the racial abuse allegations brought forth Monday by Akim Aliu, former Hurricanes defenceman Michal Jordan tweeted that Peters was involved in multiple physical altercations with different players, claiming his former coach kicked him and punched another player in the head on the bench during a game.

TSN’s Frank Seravalli followed up and confirmed details of the alleged incidents with Jordan, and also had “multiple sources confirm” that a second Hurricanes player, who wishes to remain anonymous, was struck in the head by Peters during a game. Current Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour also confirmed the allegations, adding:

“The way the players handled it and the support staff handled it (was to) bring it to management right away. Management handled it correctly, and (we) never heard of it again. Never saw anything else after that. It was definitely dealt with, in my opinion, correctly.”

But ex-Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos — who was at the helm when the alleged incidents likely took place during the 2015-16 season — would disagree with the sentiment that it was handled appropriately by management because, well, management (general manager Ron Francis) didn’t even tell him it happened.

The 76-year-old Karmanos just found out about the allegations, like the rest of us, this week.

“I’m pretty upset,” said Karmanos, according to Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker. “And I have my calls in to Ronnie as well. I think he’s the one who’s going to have to tell people what he did when he found out that the coach had done these things,” Karmanos said.

“Look, I’m probably as upset as anybody could be. I take pride in our organization. I’ve always taken pride in playing the game the right way and all of that stuff. So I’m fed up.’’

Former Hurricanes GM Ron Francis apparently hid the Bill Peters abuse allegations from ownership. (Getty)

Karmanos added that even though Francis typically “played things close to the vest,” he “absolutely” expected his GM would’ve informed him of something of that serious nature. He said he’s “disgusted” that a coach at any level of hockey would employ such tactics, according to Baker.

Things also started to click, just a little bit.

“I never could figure out why the kid wouldn’t take the contract we had offered him,” Karmanos said of Jordan.

Karmanos sold the team to current owner Thomas Dundon in December of 2017. Francis and Peters remained together at the helm until Francis was fired — for issues not related to these incidents — in April of 2018, and Peters immediately resigned and subsequently took the Flames head coaching job.

Francis has yet to speak on the allegations as of this writing, and the Seattle organization, which now employs Francis, has declined to comment on the situation.

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