Akim Aliu has released a statement after signing tryout agreement

He’s getting another shot at professional hockey.



Former NHL forward Akim Aliu made headlines in 2020 when he accused Bill Peters, who was at the time the head coach of the Calgary Flames, of having used racial slurs against him when the two were with the AHL's Rockford Ice Hogs a decade earlier. Peters apologized to the Flames for using "offensive language" and promptly resigned his post. 

Aliu also tweeted his support for former Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri last spring, who had been facing death threats and racially-charged attacks on his ethnicity following a collision with St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington that knocked the latter out for the remainder of their series in 2022; Kadri would eventually lift the Stanley Cup with the rest of his Avs teammates. 

He's back in professional hockey, having signed a tryout agreement with the San Jose Barracuda, the American Hockey League affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. And he has released the following statement: 

"No matter what I am able to accomplish on the ice, I believe the movement we have started will have a more lasting and positive impact on the game of hockey, and, more importantly, our society. This I am very proud of & the work will surely continue.

At the same time, my passion and love has always been on the ice and it's something I think about every day. I've been through a great deal both mentally and physically in the last 4 years since I last played but even at the age of 34, my love & passion for the game has never wavered. All I can do is give it my best and enjoy the moment of doing what I love most. 

I can't thank the San Jose Sharks organization enough for this opportunity, as I know this decision was not an easy one. Thank you to my family and friends for sticking by me. However things turn out, I am assured and at peace with one thing: that my 9 month old son will get to see me play and always know daddy never gave up & never stopped DREAMING!" 

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Source: Twitter