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NHL says referee Tim Peel will no longer work games after hot mic incident

Last Updated Mar 24, 2021 at 11:16 am PDT

Tim Peel shown here refereeing a game between the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators. (Photo via Sportsnet).

NASHVILLE – The NHL says referee Tim Peel will no longer work games now or in the future after an official in Tuesday’s game between the Predators and Red Wings was caught on a hot mic suggesting he was looking to call a penalty against Nashville.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, in a press release Wednesday.

“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.”

The 53-year-old Peel, who has more than 1,300 regular-season games under his belt, was expected to retire this year with his final game slated for April 24.

Peel and Kelly Sutherland were the officials in the game, but it was unclear which one of them was speaking in the video.

The clip, which gained traction after being shared on social media, occurred as the Predators broadcast was going to a commercial break in the second period.

WATCH: NHL referee caught looking to call penalty in hot mic incident

While a replay of a Nashville scoring chance was being shown, a voice was heard saying, “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville early in the …” with the end of the clip cut off by the broadcast.

Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson had been called for a tripping penalty shortly before the comment was made. The game, which ended as a 2-0 Nashville win, featured four penalties for the Predators and three for the Red Wings.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported late Tuesday that the league was investigating the incident.