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Veteran NHL referee Tim Peel will no longer referee games for the league after he was caught on a hot mic saying he “wanted” to call a penalty on the Nashville Predators in Tuesday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
The NHL issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that Peel would no longer work for the league after he was heard on Nashville’s broadcast saying he intended to call a penalty shortly after calling Predators’ forward Viktor Arvidsson for tripping in the second period.
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“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f–king penalty against Nashville early in the –,” Peel said before the mic was cut off.
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“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” Colin Campbell, senior executive vice president of hockey operations, 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.”
Campbell continued: “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.”
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The Predators beat the Red Wings 2-0 despite the hiccup. When asked about the incident after the games, Nashville coach John Hynes said he wasn’t looking for an excuse.
“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.”
He continued: “You always want to have things that are fair for your players and for your team … We have to find a way to kill the penalty and control what we can control.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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