NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV/AP) - A referee wearing a microphone for the Detroit-Nashville game Tuesday night was heard over the TV broadcast saying he wanted to call a penalty against the Predators was fired on Wednesday, the NHL announced.
“It wasn't much, but I wanted to get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville early in the,” the unidentified official was heard saying before his microphone was cut off after Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called for a tripping penalty at 4:56 of the second period.
NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell announced Wednesday after referee Tim Peel’s comments during the game that he no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future.
“Nothing is more important than ensuing the integrity of our game,” Campbell said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “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 to protect the integrity of our game.”
Peel and Kelly Sutherland worked the game, a 2-0 win by Nashville. The Predators were called for four penalties and the Red Wings three.
Predators coach John Hynes said after the game it probably doesn't matter how he feels about what the official said.
“But the referees are employees of the league and rather than me comment on it, it’s an issue that I think the league will have to take care of,” Hynes said.
The Nashville coach said his team, now 5-3-1 over their past nine games, have been working to avoid excuses after going through a 16-day road trip that was the longest in franchise history. Hynes has been pushing his players to control what they can.
“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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.