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Folks, we may finally be nearing the end of this week’s three ring circus. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman provided an update during Wednesday night’s hockey broadcast.

Friedman:

This process is reaching its conclusion. I can’t tell you when exactly that will be, but the thing that we all expected is peters to be removed as head coach of the Calgary Flames and I think we’re getting close, I just can’t give you an exact time.

The Flames were off on Thursday and have a practice planned for 11 a.m. MT Friday at the Saddledome. Bill Peters has been functionally away from the team since Tuesday after Akim Aliu’s allegations became public knowledge on Monday night and confirmed by TSN’s Frank Seravalli early Tuesday. Associate coach Geoff Ward ran practice on Tuesday and was functionally the head coach during Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win in Buffalo.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston joined Ryan Pinder and Pat Steinberg on Sportsnet 960 The Fan on Thursday afternoon added a bit of context for the reason behind the lack of action from the Flames to this point – lawyers.

“Some people I’ve spoken with feel that it’s unlikely that the Flames will be able to fire him with cause and therefore be able to not pay him, so that might give us some insight into some of the maneuverings behind the scenes right now.”

Even without a definitive personnel move by the Flames, expect Ward to be behind the bench until this whole thing is resolved.