It is not often officials are held accountable by professional sports leagues for their conduct on the job, but the National Hockey League has taken action against one of its refs over an incident during a game last night in Tennessee.
The league this morning announced they had fired referee Tim Peel as a result of the incident, which took place during the Nashville Predators’ game with the Detroit Red Wings at downtown Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. According to ESPN, Peel was caught on a hot mic allegedly suggesting he intentionally wanted to call a penalty against the Predators.
In a statement, NHL senior Executive Vice President of Operations Colin Campbell expressed his deep disappointment with the referee’s actions. “Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” Campbell 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. 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 (of) our game.”
The call which the alleged comments were made in reference to was a tripping penalty charged to Nashville player Viktor Arvidsson.
The comments were made during the second period of the contest, which was won by Nashville. ESPN reported that Peel was set to retire after this season.