NHL bans Tim Peel after hot mic incident

Apr 22, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Referee Tim Peel (20) waves off a Colorado Avalanche goal in the second period against the Nashville Predators in game six of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Referee Tim Peel is barred from officiating NHL games after being caught on a hot microphone Tuesday night saying he wanted to call a penalty against the Nashville Predators, the league announced.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said on Wednesday. “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.”

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was whistled for a tripping penalty in the offensive zone on Detroit’s Jon Merrill at 4:56 of the second period. Replays showed Merrill embellished the fall in a bid to draw the call.

“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville early in the …” one of the officials was overheard to be saying as the Predators’ television broadcast was heading to a commercial.

The two officials working the game were Kelly Sutherland and Peel, who announced the penalty from center ice.

The Predators were whistled for four penalties during the game, while Red Wings had three called against them. Nashville posted a 2-0 win.

Peel officiated his first NHL game on Oct. 21, 1999. He has worked 90 Stanley Cup playoff games, the 2012 NHL All-Star Game as well as the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Per TSN, Peel was set to retire after this season. His final game was scheduled for April 24.

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–Field Level Media