Veteran NHL Referee Tim Peel found himself in early retirement this week following a hot-mic controversy during Tuesday night’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators.
Peel was caught on the hot-mic stating that he wanted to assess Nashville a penalty early in the game. He later paid for the mistake with his job, despite the fact that he was going to call it a career after this season.
“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville early in the …” Peel was heard stating before the audio cut out.
He had just called a relatively minor tripping call on Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson.
For the Red Wings, they’re not doubting the integrity of the NHL officiating crew.
“Zero doubt in my mind that we’ve got a great group of officials who ref this game with integrity,” Blashill said. “It means tons to them. I’ve had heated conversations with different refs at different times and one thing I know for certain is they care about doing a great job. It’s their livelihood.”
“If one team is up a lot, to they get come calls? I don’t know,” he said. “Some games they might, but it might just be the way the game goes. I focus on what we can control and that’s how we play and whether or not we put ourselves in position to take penalties.”
Blashill said that he didn’t initially hear Peel’s words, and only found out about the controversy on social media after the game. He also made sure to make clear that he has respect for Peel, who is now no longer employed by the NHL.
“I heard what (everyone) heard, which was a partial conversation caught on a hot mic,” Blashill said. “Without knowing the context of the rest of the conversation, I certainly wouldn’t judge. At the end of the day, we don’t know the whole situation.
“I’ve got lots of respect for Tim Peel as a person. I’ve got lots of respect for Tim Peel as a man. He’s been somebody I respected from Day One in this league. So that part is unfortunate because I think he’s a real good ref and a real good man.”
Red Wings forward Sam Gagner understands the human element involved in sports as well as the notorious “make-up call” that officials are often accused of leveling.
“I think there’s times where they probably feel, ‘I have to make up for that error,’” Gagner said. “I played with Connor McDavid last year (in Edmonton) and felt there could have been a penalty on him every shift.”
The Red Wings and Predators will once again face off tonight from Bridgestone Arena in the Music City.
– – Quotes via Ansar Khan of MLive Link – –