The NHL has fired referee Tim Peel after an incident in Tuesday night’s game between the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings. Peel was caught on a hot microphone stating that he wanted to get a penalty on Nashville early in the game. Here’s the official statement from the NHL on the move:
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” Campbell said. “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.”
Here’s the video of the incident during the Preds-Red Wings game. This isn’t anything new to hockey or sports in general. Make-up calls are a thing and they happen often. Referees don’t normally get caught on video saying that they’re about to do it. It’s worth noting Peel was reportedly scheduled to work his last game on April 24th before retiring.
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
"It wasn't much but I wanted to get a fuckin' penalty against Nashville early in the..."#Preds #LGRW pic.twitter.com/6fZImkdqLr
Peel was a veteran ref for the NHL who had been in the League since 1999. He reffed 90 Stanley Cup Playoff games and over 1,000 regular-season games during his career. He was also a referee at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has officiated multiple outdoor games, including the 2017 and 2019 Winter Classics.
In the first period on Tuesday, Red Wings F Adam Erne was called for interference on Preds F Viktor Arvidsson. Peel was clearly trying to find a make-up call in the second period, and that’s when Arvidsson was called for tripping on D Jon Merrill at 4:56 of the period. The Preds would go on to win 2-0, so it really didn’t impact the game that much. Still, you can’t get caught on tape saying anything like that nowadays. So Peel won’t be officiating any future NHL games.