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Retired NHL ref Kerry Fraser defends Tim Peel’s integrity despite hot mic incident

Fraser is one of the few saying nice things about Peel at the moment…


On Wednesday, the National Hockey League announced that referee Tim Peel will no longer work NHL games “now or in the future” after his comments about a Nashville penalty were heard on a hot mic during Tuesday’s  Red Wings - Predators  game. Comments made by Peel were caught on a hot mic and it was determined that it was Peel. After Viktor Arvidsson was called for tripping Jon Merrill, Peel was heard on the FOX broadcast saying, “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a fuckin’ penalty against Nashville early in the …” before the audio cut out.

Peel was expected to retire at the end of the season with his final game scheduled to be on April 24. He has worked more than 1,300 regular-season games and 90 playoff games and retired official Kerry Fraser is one of the few saying good things about Peel following the incident, which Fraser called  “unfortunate.”

“There are so many hot mics around in a rink now that officials can’t have any sort of private conversation, because somebody’s always listening,” said Fraser to The Athletic . “As an officiating crew, and ever since we’ve gone to the two-referee system, there’s times in a game when the two referees consult with one another about the flow of the game, the requirements that each game needs. No two games are alike. The good referees — the great referees — have a feel for the game.”

Later on social media, Fraser was called out for supporting Peel and replied this to a fan who said Peel might have been fixing games or taking part in gambling as he made the controversial call. Here is Fraser’s answer. The guy worked for more than 30 years in the NHL, so he took it personally too. 

“I hate coming off rude but you have no idea what you are talking about from where you sit on the other side of the glass or in front of your TV. It is unfair to question the Ref’s integrity from the sidelines. His comment was Dumb for sure. It is a sad end to a stellar career.”

“A sad end to a stellar career”… sure we bet Peel would have preferred to hang up the skates and the stripes in better fashion. A lot of folks said that Peel is a kind person, and his attitude was never in question here… but his decision to make a call based on … wanting to give a team a penalty is unforgivable. Decisions on the ice should be called based on the facts presented on the ice not any kind of external circumstances.

Peel didn’t do that. And the NHL made him pay. And is the punishment that bad seeing that he wasn’t going to officiate the playoffs? I don’t know. But Fraser believes this is the “sad end to a stellar career…”

Fraser always liked to be a bit controversial after all… 

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