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Bettman announces big changes for the NHL in the wake of allegations against coaches

10 décembre 2019
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is making it clear that things cannot continue the way they have been going when it comes to interactions between coaches and players in the league. Speaking at the end of the first day of the Board of Governors meeting Monday night, Bettman stated changes are coming, such as mandatory counselling regarding racism and anti-bullying for NHL personnel and the formation of a hotline for people to call to report any such incidents.

"Inclusion and diversity are not simply buzz words. They are foundational principles of the NHL," Bettman told reporters. "Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behaviour of any kind."


All of this stems from Akim Aliu accusing former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters of directing racial slurs at him around 10 years ago when both were with the Rockford IceHogs organization in the AHL. Peters admitted to using the slurs and stepped down as coach of the Flames.

We don't like surprises," Bettman said. "The Bill Peters situation was a complete surprise."

"Going forward, our clubs are on notice that if they become aware of an incident of conduct involving NHL personnel on or off the ice that is clearly inappropriate, unlawful or demonstrably abusive, or that may violate the league's policies involving NHL Club personnel, we at the league office — Bill Daly or me — must be immediately advised."

"There will be zero tolerance for any failure to notify us and in the event of such failure, the club and individuals involved can expect severe discipline."

Peters in just one example of the recent allegations that rocked the hockey world. Chicago assistant coach Marc Crawford is currently under investigation for allegedly kicking Sean Avery when the two were with the L.A. Kings, while Mike Babcock's firing from the Toronto Maple Leafs spurred a flurry of accusations against him over his treatment of current and former players.

"Professionalism and respect have been important to this league but it is now a particularly important time to discuss it because everyone is entitled to a respectful workplace," Bettman said Monday Night.

Here is a complete list of the measures being implement by the NHL:

-Teams will be required to immediately report any incidents of inappropriate behaviour by club personnel that has been brought to their attention. Failure to do so will result in "severe discipline," according to Bettman.

-Swift and severe punishment for those involved in any future or past incidents that are brought to the NHL's attention.

-A mandatory annual counselling program that all NHL coaches, assistant coaches, minor league coaches, general managers and assistant general managers must attend. The program, which will be created by professionals in the field outside of the NHL, will focus on consciousness-raising, education and training on diversity and inclusion. The players association and coaches association will be consulted in the formation of the program as well.

-The formation of a disciplinary counsel that will be run under the direction of NHL executive vice-president Kim Davis.

- The creation of a hotline for people to call to report incidents of abuse, racism or other things that might fall into a 'grey area'

Aliu has released a statement on Twitter regarding the proposed changes, and appears to be pleased with the measures being taken.



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