N.H.L. Fires Referee for Comment on Penalty Call

The N.H.L. fired Tim Peel, a longtime referee, after a stay rinkside microphone caught him saying he had been in search of a possibility to name a penalty in opposition to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday evening.

The remark got here minutes after Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson had been referred to as for tripping Detroit’s Jon Merrill with 15 minutes four seconds left within the second interval of the Predators’ win. “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a penalty against Nashville early,” Peel mentioned, with an expletive, with 12:42 left within the interval.

The league acted hours later in a press release issued Wednesday by Colin Campbell, a senior govt vp of hockey operations. Peel had been a referee since 1999 and was planning to retire after this season.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” Campbell mentioned within the assertion. “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.”

On the play that led to the penalty name, Arvidsson’s left foot appeared to attach with the again of Merrill’s proper leg, however Merrill appeared to decorate his fall, drawing the two-minute penalty. The Predators gained, 2-0, behind a 31-save effort from Juuse Saros. The Red Wings completed the sport with three penalties; the Predators had 4.

Peel labored Tuesday’s recreation along with his fellow referee Kelly Sutherland. He had officiated greater than 1,300 regular-season video games and 90 playoff video games. He additionally was a referee through the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and labored the league’s All-Star Game in 2012.

He sustained a season-ending fractured ankle throughout a Chicago-Arizona recreation in December 2019 however was capable of return this season, his ultimate marketing campaign. He was beforehand scheduled to officiate his final recreation on April 24, according to SportsNet.

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