Former Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis reportedly did not tell owner Peter Karmanos about physical abuse allegations

Just hours after Rod Brind’Amour publicly acknowledged that then-Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters physically assaulted two players on the bench, former team owner Peter Karmanos told The Seattle Times he would have fired Peters “in a nanosecond” — if he had known.

“I’m pretty upset,” said Karmanos, who stressed that then-general manager Ron Francis did not inform him about the allegations. “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.’’

On Monday, Akim Aliu alleged via Twitter that Peters used racial slurs towards him when he was was a player for the Chicago Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, in 2009-10.

The following day, former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan wrote on Twitter, “You get what you deserve Bill. After years making it to the NHL had experience with the worst coach ever by far. Kicking me and punching other player to the head during the game.”

While Peters issued a statement and apology for the racial slur on Wednesday night, he did not address Jordan’s allegations in the email. Earlier in the day, Brind’Amour spoke to reporters stating that the abuse was acknowledged by the team and, in his mind, taken care of.

“What happened after that I’m proud of, the way the players handled it and the way our sports staff handled it — bringing it to management right away,” the then-Hurricanes assistant coach said. “Then management handled it correctly and never heard of it again. Never saw anything else after that. It was definitely dealt with, in my opinion, correctly. And that’s the last I need to talk about it because it’s not our issue. We definitely moved passed that. So I want to talk about the game.”

However, Karmanos said the news never went up the chain to him — and he didn’t find out until Tuesday — noting that if he had known, Peters “wouldn’t have lasted five minutes with me or most of our organization.” 

He added, “I ran large companies with thousands of people, and I wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior from any of our management. . . .You don’t treat employees that way. You can’t be verbally or physically abusive.”

Karmanos said it also explained why Jordan didn’t sign with the club, despite being offered a contract — leaving for the KHL after the 2015-16 season. Peters was given a contract extension by Francis in the summer of 2016 and then resigned in 2018 after Francis was fired. Francis is now the GM of the Seattle franchise and Karmanos sold the Hurricanes to Thomas Dundon in 2017. 

“Look, I’m probably as upset as anybody could be,” he told The Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker. “I take pride in our organizations. I’ve always taken pride in playing the game the right way and all of that stuff. So I’m fed up.’’

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