Red Deer Rebels respond to social media allegations

The Red Deer Rebels have answered to a critical social media post alleging misconduct Wednesday.

Late Tuesday, posts on Twitter surfaced on the account of former NHLer Daniel Carcillo, who has in recent years become a staunch advocate for fair treatment of players.

The tweet in question implicated that underage drinking, young men dressing as women, physical, verbal and sexual abuse happened at a rookie party. A photo of the party, showing young men in dresses, was included in the tweet.

According to the tweet, the WHL and Hockey Canada were made aware of the conduct and “nothing was done bc (sic) it involved the Sutter name.”

Accompanying the tweet is what appears to be a message in which the WHL and the Sutter’s are implicated.

Wednesday, the team issued the following statement:

“Brent Sutter – Owner, Governor, President, General Manager and Head Coach of the Red Deer Rebels – and the Western Hockey League, take matters of this nature very seriously,” the statement read.

“The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club have reviewed the photograph shared on social media and have indicated to the WHL they do not believe any individuals depicted in the photograph are former members of the Red Deer Rebels.

“The WHL is committed to providing a safe and positive environment for all WHL players.

“The WHL has a zero tolerance policy on all forms of abuse, bullying, harassment and hazing. The policy applies to all individuals associated directly or indirectly with the operation of a member Club or the League.”

All this stemmed from a conversation online about the mistreatment of players, past and present by coaches. Last week, a story came to light about former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock and his questionable decision to ask then-rookie Mitch Marner to call out the work habits of his teammates. Earlier this week, allegations from Akim Aliu against Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters.

Aliu alleged that in 2010, while playing for the Rockford Ice Hogs of the AHL, where Peters was the coach, that he issued a racial slur in calling out the music choice of Aliu. Several former players corroborated Aliu’s story. Peters is still employed by the Flames and is awaiting the results of the investigation by the NHL.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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