The NHL found themselves in a an horrible situation this week. One that every league dreads, that’s for sure.
One of their prominent referees, Tim Peel, was caught by a live hot mic creating a cardinal sin during a game between the Predators and Red Wings.
He admitted for the whole world to hear that he called a penalty on a Nashville player for one reason; to make up for a call the officiating crew missed early in the game.
File this under “unwritten rules of the game.” Let’s all be adults here, it’s not the first time it’s happened in hockey, the NBA, MLB or the NFL.
But it’s one of the few, if only times there was 100% proof of the intent of the man in stripes to intentionally call a foul that wasn’t there.
It’s hard to misunderstand what he meant when Peel said this: “It wasn’t much but I wanted to get a f*&%$’n penalty against Nashville early in the…”
Not much the NHL could do but come down hard on Peel, and they lowered the boom on Tuesday, firing the veteran ref, and banning him from ever being allowed back in the NHL.
Remember, the NHL is a league that allows grown men to essentially violently assault each other in a legal fights on ice, so take this sanctimonious response in the league’s statement from Sr. EVP of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell how you want, but they literally had not choice but to wash their hands of Peel.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game.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.”
Here’s where it gets a little complicated. Peel began his NHL officiating career began in Oct. 1999 and he has done over 1,000 games in the NHL. He’s also done 90 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Japan. There might be a few people going over the tapes of some of those games to see if there were any odd calls.