NHL referee Peel banned after making comments on penalty

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National Hockey League referee Tim Peel will never work another league game, the NHL announced Wednesday, after a television coverage microphone picked up his comment about calling a penalty.

The league said in a statement Peel would "no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future" after his remarks during a Tuesday contest between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators.

Peel whistled Nashville's Viktor Arvidsson for tripping early in the second period and later in the period, the Predators broadcast audio caught Peel saying, "It wasn't much, but I wanted to get a... penalty against Nashville early."

That was enough for NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell to decide Canadian Peel, 53, wouldn't work in the league again.

"Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game," Campbell said. "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."