The NHL has let go longtime referee Tim Peel following comments picked up by a hot mic last night.
Peel, who was wearing a microphone during a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators, was caught admitting that he “wanted” to give Nashville a penalty.
“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a fuckin’ penalty against Nashville early,” Peel was caught saying on a hot mic during the television broadcast, right before a commercial break.
Maybe if you're a mic'd up ref, you shouldn't express how you wanted to call a penalty against a team earlier in the game, changing how you ref the rest of the game.
— Matt Best (@bestofmatt) March 24, 2021
The NHL wasted no time making a decision on the 54-year-old referee, sending out a press release this morning announcing that Peel “no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future.”
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” said Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. “Tim Peel’s conduct is in direct contradiction to the adherence to that cornerstone principle that we demand of our officials and that our fans, players, coaches and all those associated with our game expect and deserve.
“There is no justification for his comments, no matter the context or his intention, and the National Hockey League will take any and all steps necessary to protect the integrity of our game.”
Peel ranked fourth among active referees in career games, having officiated 1,334 regular season games, in addition to 90 playoff games, according to ScoutingTheRefs.com.