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NHL Fires Referee Tim Peel After Ugly Live Mic Make-Up Call Incident

The NHL has fired referee Tim Peel after the official was caught on a hot mic admitting to a make-up call during a game.

Tim Peel NHL ref fired

There are more than a few opinions about how the NHL, specifically Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell is handling the incident,, but The National Hockey League did not waste time making a decision on the fate of official Tim Peel. The league has just announced that, following his comments during the game last night between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators, Peel will no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future.

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As per a statement released by the league:

“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.”

For Those That Don’t Know The Tim Peel Incident

For readers that hadn’t heard what happened, Peel was caught on a hot mic during the game Tuesday evening. He called Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson for a trip on Jon Merrill and before the feed of the game cut to commercial, Peel was heard on the FOX broadcast saying, “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f-ckin’ penalty against Nashville early in the …”

Obviously, this is not the first time an official has called what is referred to as a make-up call in a game. It likely happens often when a player is assessed what might not really be a penalty because an earlier call was missed or to even things out if the penalties heavily lean in favor of one team over another. But, this is the first time that anyone can recall it being so obvious and an official talking about it on a live mic. Essentially, Peel got caught doing what a lot of officials likely do and he’s being made an example of.

That doesn’t make what Peel did acceptable. Still, many are wondering why the NHL is not addressing the bigger issue at hand here which is that the officiating has been questionable for years and this is a league-wide issue that isn’t isolated with one individual.

Other Officials Are Speaking Up

Retired NHL official Paul Stewart has been quite vocal about how disappointed he is in Peel. He wrote on Twitter today:

As a retired official, an officiating director, supervisor and teacher, the idea of pre-judging a play is beyond disgusting and the anthesis of all we are taught. It casts a pall over all officials in all sports. This should serve as a wake up call to all in officiating that the sanctity of handing someone the power and responsibility to judge is something that needs investment, quality control and buck-stops-here management.

While this is being seen by many as a half-right decision by the league — since they aren’t really addressing the overall issue of poor officiating and game management by referees — the league likely felt they had no choice but to relieve Tim Peel of his NHL duties. What’s ever crazier is that Peel was set to retire at the end of this season.

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