NHL referee Tim Peel got an early start on his retirement after his comments about a penalty he called on the Nashville Predators were caught on a hot mic and were heard on the TV broadcast.
During Nashville’s game Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings, Peel was overheard discussing a penalty he called against the Predators. “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f—ing penalty against Nashville early in the …” he was heard saying before the audio cut out.
You can hear it for yourself in the player above.
On Wednesday, the league said Peel would no longer be working NHL games. He was set to retire after this season.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior 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. 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.”
Peel has worked more than 1,300 regular-season games and 90 playoff games, according to the NHL Officials Association website.
Predators forward Matt Duchene spoke about the incident on the “Robby & Rexrode” ESPN radio show on Wednesday.
“He told our bench that, so I mean, really bizarre. I just think it can’t happen,” Duchene said. “Imagine the scenario where they score on that power play, we lose the game and we miss the playoffs by a point. Imagine that scenario. That can happen, right? That can happen based on — that’s not out of the realm of possibility. I don’t think there’s a place in hockey for that. You’ve got to call the game. I’ve always been frustrated when I see even-up calls.”