NHL referee Tim Peel was caught on a hot mic during Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings saying that he wanted to call a penalty against the Nashville Predators.
Here’s how it all went down.
At 15:04 left in the second period, Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called by Peel for tripping Red Wings defenseman Jon Merrill. Replay showed Merill doing… quite a bit of embellishment on his fall in an attempt to draw the penalty.
Then at a stoppage in play with 12:42 left in the period, as the broadcast was going into a commercial break, you hear Peel on a hot mic saying that he “wanted to get a fuckin’ penalty against Nashville.”
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.
Preds coach John Hynes was asked to weigh in on Peel’s comments after the game:
“I think the situation is what it is. I think from our perspective, it probably doesn’t matter how I feel about it, in general; but the referees are employees of the league, and rather than me comment, I think it’s an issue that the league will have to take care of.”
And that’s what the league did.
The NHL announced that Peel has been suspended (fired?) for his comments.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game. 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 our game.”
There’s no definitive word on whether Peel was canned by the NHL or just suspended, but “no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future” sure sounds like he was fired.
And I mean, listen, it’s been a rough enough season for us Preds fans as it is. The team is 15-17-1 and currently sits sixth in their division (although they did end up beating the Red Wings last night despite the sketchy shit from the refs).
But we definitely don’t need the refs out here calling BS penalties on us to make the season even worse.