23 Facts About Akim Aliu


Akim Aliu was born on April 24,1989 and is a Nigeria-born Canadian-Ukrainian former professional ice hockey player.

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Akim Aliu was born in Okene, Nigeria, but grew up in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Akim Aliu considers himself Ukrainian Canadian and attests that he and his family live according to Ukrainian culture; and that he would have played for the Ukrainian national hockey team, if asked.

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Uncomfortable with the political climate following the demise of the Soviet Union, Akim Aliu's parents moved the family to Canada when he was 7 and settled in the Toronto area.

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Akim Aliu had a natural talent for the game and within a few years was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League in the first round by the Windsor Spitfires.

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In 2020, Akim Aliu revealed more details about his time with the Spitfires, including that he believed Downie had taken a particular interest in treating him abusively in this and previous incidents because of Akim Aliu's different racial and ethnic background.

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Akim Aliu appeared in a total of 47 games that season, scoring 10 goals and 10 assists.

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Akim Aliu missed the final two games of the regular season for disciplinary reasons but returned to play 21 games in the playoffs as the Wolves reached the finals, losing to the Plymouth Whalers.

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Akim Aliu carried a reputation as a difficult player to manage into the draft, and despite his early rating, fell to the second round, where the Chicago Blackhawks selected him 56th overall.

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Akim Aliu was traded back to Sudbury midway through the season, and recorded 42 points in 45 games split between the two teams.

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Akim Aliu signed his first professional contract on August 25,2008, a three-year deal with the Blackhawks.

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Akim Aliu scored 11 goals and 6 assists in 48 games, but was demoted to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye late in the year.

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Akim Aliu missed time during the season after suffering a broken hand in a bar fight.

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Akim Aliu did not figure in the new management's plans, and after failing to make the roster of Winnipeg's AHL affiliate, started the season again in the ECHL with the Colorado Eagles.

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Akim Aliu met with Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster and convinced him that he deserved another opportunity.

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Akim Aliu was placed in a checking role with Abbotsford rather than the scoring role he typically played, and performed well enough that the Flames sent defenceman John Negrin to the Jets on January 30,2012, in a trade to acquire Aliu's NHL rights.

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The Flames re-signed Akim Aliu following the season as they agreed on a one-year deal.

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Akim Aliu was not offered a new contract by the Flames, and joined the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs on a tryout agreement.

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Akim Aliu featured in 10 games with the Americans before he was released and later signed by the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL on January 23,2015.

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Akim Aliu played 15 games with the Condors before he was loaned to play a solitary game to complete his season with the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.

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Over a month later, Akim Aliu returned overseas to sign for the remainder of the season with Russian club, Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL, on November 6,2015.

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On November 25,2019, while a free agent, Akim Aliu went public with allegations that at-the-time current Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters, while coaching the AHL's Rockford IceHogs, directed racial epithets at him in the locker room.

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On June 8,2020, Akim Aliu co-founded the Hockey Diversity Alliance, alongside Evander Kane, to address intolerance and racism in hockey.

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