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CHN Puck Links: Tim Peel erred, but didn’t deserve firing



So, the NHL fired longtime referee Tim Peel today, for a “hot mic” incident in last night’s Detroit-Nashville game. Peel was heard saying, “”there wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f—ing penalty against Nashville early in the—”.

Peel had just called a penalty on Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson five minutes into the second period. Nashville won the game 2-0. That was all that was heard, but it was enough for the league to fire Peel today. (Peel was going to retire after this season).

I’m probably in the minority here, but I don’t agree with the league’s decision. I’m not a fan of people being canceled over things they say privately. Sure, there are exceptions (using the N word, plotting a murder, etc. etc.). But this is the NHL, a league that has ALWAYS  known that referees do makeup calls or try to even things up when it comes to power plays for each team in a game. Every referee in the league has done what Tim Peel did last night. And Gary Bettman, along with every other higher-up in the league office, knows it.

To make Peel a scapegoat over a hot mic, to me, is wrong. I think he should have been given a chance to apologize and maybe given a suspension. But not fired on the spot. It’s hypocritical, and it just keeps furthering our holier-than-thou cancel culture, where those doing the canceling get to believe they’re perfectly virtuous and never do anything wrong. They’re not, and they do.

Superstreak Bonus!

I know lots of people already thought Peel was a terrible ref. That’s not the point here. For the league to try and act all shocked – shocked! – that a referee said/did this is hypocritical. But, chalk another one up for the social media virtue crowd.

Some links:

  • The Philadelphia fans have had enough of the Flyers middling play. They booed the Flyers off the ice in their loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. 
  • The top 10 goalies who could be on the move by the trade deadline (TSN)
  • It looks like the Montreal Canadiens and the North Division are now succumbing to some COVID Protocol issues after they had done a pretty good job keeping it out of Canada for most of the season. (Sportsnet)
  • Looks like the UMass hockey dressing room is getting a pretty sweet upgrade thanks to some good friends of the program. Wonder if Cale Makar chipped in at all? (UMass Athletics)
  • Big blow to the Florida Panthers, who lost Aleksander Barkov to a lower-body injury (Florida Hockey Now)
  • The Avs have had a scout in Pittsburgh of late, watching the Pens and Devils.
  • The NHL Draft Lottery changes have been approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors at Tuesday’s meeting.  (TSN)
  • The NHL is trying to reach more Latinos with the game as the population grows. (NY Times)
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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John Mauss

I agree 100%, AD. Given all the other things about this ref, firing over something everyone knows is widely done, is cowardly. Thanks for writing the truth once more.

Cody Danko

If that doesn’t deserve a firing then nothing does. He was caught admitting that he wanted to give one team a penalty early in the period whether they deserved to be called for a penalty or not. That shouldn’t be a part of the game.

Charlie Anderson

Well said Dater. This is one of the big downsides to all professional sports that makes me have a hard time paying attention to much other than the Avs. It’s even hard to watch the Avs sometimes because of it. Hey at least hockey isn’t as “managed” as the other big sports.

Aaron Hinton

Hope you don’t get caught not towing the party line for the company you are employed by, Cody or you will be joining the long list of witches to be burned.

Brett Rainboth

Admittedly I didn’t see the game but seems plausible that Peel could’ve given the Preds or even that specific player a warning earlier in the game to watch themselves around the goalie/front of the net and felt he had to make the call to settle things down. NHL overreacted in firing him and in my opinion this is inadvertently giving credence to fans who are now using it as an opportunity to explain the he or certain officials are out get their team

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett Rainboth

The guy made a clean check with his shoulder, and his stick was away from both their bodies, so it wasn’t a trip in any shape or form.


I have to say I disagree with you here. Whether there is a perception of “make up calls” or not, when you literally have proof in the way of verbal evidence, you have to take action. It’s a slippery slope in a world of sports betting and how that can be leveraged against officials, especially after something like this happens – the NHL has to get ahead of that. Peel got off easy as he was retiring in a month anyway.

Luke Waggoner

Wasn’t he just removed from reffing games? I haven’t seen anything that said that he was outright fired. I think that the issue here is that if he refs games again, there’s always going to be a stain on his reffing and questions about whether he’s calling them straight. It sounds like bias against a specific team, not refs evening out calls (which I fully agree that they all do). I think they did this purely as a PR move, but I’m not sure they had a lot of other options.

Adrian Dater

I mean, not being able to do what he’s done, now and in the future, sounds like a firing to me


No, he definitely deserved it. But make no mistake, if he wasn’t retiring next month, even this would not have gotten him fired. We know the league doesn’t give a shit about it. I mean, last night’s game against the coyotes makes that quite clear (especially since at least 3 coyotes shoukd have been fined, and Chychrun should have been fined AND suspended). And really, I thought you were better than the people who think “cancel culture” is some big evil thing, instead of the beneficial forward movement it really is.

The PG

I agree. Suspension or some other form of discipline. Instead they scapegoat a guy who was retiring at the end of the season to make it look like they are against game management, when, like you said, they know it happens and in fact, encourage it.


Amen AD! Only when 99% of people have been cancelled, fired our ousted will we recognize that as human beings, we are all prone to make mistakes.


I’m not one for cancel culture but I think this somewhat needed to be done. purely for the perceived accountability of refs. They’ve been able to get away with anything. A guy retiring in a month is a perfect scapegoat. When I first saw it I thought that whatever the player equivalent of the incident should be handed down to Peel


Gee, I wonder if they had a “hot mic” on league management, what type of fireable comments we’d hear. Agree 100% – – especially with a referee that close to retirement. Doesn’t his long tenure count for anything?

Ari Sachter-Smith

Do you think the Avs will try to sign Alex Newhook after the NCAA playoffs or could he play another year in college because of the shortened season?


Amen. Agree with everything on this article 100%.

Cody Danko

No one has touched on a big issue here. What do you see every time you are lucky enough to get a stream of Altitude? The PointsBet prop of the game… The league can’t embrace legal sports gambling and have teams doing big money corporate sponsorships and partnerships and then have it publicly known that NHL refs want to penalize one team more than another and thus give unfair advantages. Those two things don’t go together.


I think it’s fair that AD is more sensitive to cancel culture because of some incidents in his past than most people, but let’s be clear: This *isn’t* cancel culture. This is a guy that did EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of his job getting caught. Hilariously, AD gave a perfect example of cancel culture as a reason *to* be fired. If Peel had said the “N” word and gotten fired, THAT’S cancel culture (and obviously he should be fired if that had happened, but the point is it’s not against his job). The fact that he admitted deliberately doing his job… Read more »

Stubb Knoles

I was a on surface Ref for 14 years. And in all the times of training, working, & follow up skill assessments. I NEVER heard of this BS about teams deserving or banking a call for later on. It’s pure TRIPE! Does that referee deserve to be Fired? I don’t know. Probably not. The NHL has a lot of questionable areas of conduct that NEED OVERHAULING!!!!

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