The NHL referee who was caught on a hot mic during a game Tuesday night, saying he wanted to call a penalty on the Nashville Predators, will no longer work games.
Tim Peel won’t be on the ice “now or in the future,” the NHL announced Wednesday morning.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said Wednesday in a statement. “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.”
The comment came Tuesday night in a 2-0 Predators victory over the Detroit Red Wings. During the TV broadcast, a then-unidentified official was heard saying he wanted to call a penalty against Nashville.
“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville early,” the official was heard saying before the microphone shut off. The comment came just after Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called for a tripping penalty in the second period.
Peel and Kelly Sutherland were the officials working the game and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and director of officiating Stephen Walkom told The Athletic that the league was investigating the comments.
Predators coach John Hynes deflected when asked after the game about Peel’s comments, but instead praised his team for how it responded to the penalty.
“You’re not so much worried about what’s going on in those situations as we’ve got to be able to kill the penalty, we’ve got to be ready to play, and that’s what I really liked about our team’s reaction to that situation,” Hynes said.
Contributing: Associated Press