NHL suspends longtime referee following hot mic incident

NEW YORK (CBS 58)  -- Twenty-two year National Hockey League referee Tim Peel was indefinitely suspended from working NHL games following comments he made during Tuesday night's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators, the league announced.

The NHL announced Wednesday, March 24, the longtime referee will no longer work NHL games after he was caught on a hot mic by the Predators' television broadcast following a penalty call saying he "It wasn't much, but I wanted to get a [expletive] penalty against Nashville early." The incident happened with 15:04 remaining in the second period when Nashville Viktor Arvidsson was called for a tripping penalty on Detroit Jon Merrill in the offensive zone.

Warning: the tweet and audio below contains explicit language.

"Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game," NHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said in a statement 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 to deserve. There is no justification for his comments, no matter the context or his intention, and the NHL will take any and all steps necessary to protect the integrity of our game."

The 53-year-old Peel, who refereed his first NHL contest in 1999, was set to retire at the end of the season with his last game scheduled for April 24.

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