Alan May, Craig Laughlin react to NHL's ban of Tim Peel after hot mic incident

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Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read
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Alan May, Craig Laughlin react to NHL's ban of referee Tim Peel originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The National Hockey League cracked down hard on Tim Peel on Wednesday, firing the longtime referee and banning him from officiating future games after he was caught on a hot mic during Tuesday's Nashville-Detroit matchup saying he wished he granted a penalty on the Predators earlier in the game.

"There wasn't much, but I wanted to get a [expletive] penalty against Nashville early in the—," Peel said after calling a tripping penalty on Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson.

Ahead of the Capitals contest Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils, NBC Sports Washington's Alan May and Craig Laughlin gave their take on whether the NHL made the right call with the firing of Peel.

For May, he believes firing Peel -- an NHL referee for several years -- was a bad look for the league, as the hot mic clip only caught a snippet of Peel's entire comment.

"It looks really bad for the National Hockey League," May said on Capitals Pregame Live. "I feel really bad for Tim Peel because we didn't get to hear his entire conversation. We just heard a snippet of it. I've been very hard on Peel over the years. I've trashed him on Twitter, I've trashed him on the show. But I don't know exactly what he said."

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May is right, as the hot mic cut off right before Peel was ready to give his explanation about why he wanted to call a penalty on the Predators earlier in that contest.

Laughlin, on the other hand, thinks the NHL made the unfortunate, yet right decision to immediately fire Peel from his referee post.

"You can think it, but you can't say it. It comes down to the integrity of the league and they made the right decision, unfortunately," Laughlin said.

Laughlin, who played for the Capitals for six seasons and has served as an analyst for over three decades, made a noteworthy point that it's the analyst's job to say whether a referee made the right call or not, rather than the refs.

"Tim Peel would've been better served, he, unfortunately, got caught in the hot mic, allow me and Joe [Beninati] and [Alan May] and the analysts around the league say, 'that was a make-up call,'" Laughlin said.

What both May and Laughlin agreed on is that whether a penalty is called or not should have nothing to do with any outside circumstances. Each game should be treated the same regardless of whether it's a regular season game or a Stanley Cup matchup. There should be no such thing as "make-up calls."

"A penalty is a penalty to me, whether it's in the first period, second, overtime, playoff game, regular season, preseason game," May said. "I think there has to be consistency in this and that every game should be refed the exact same according to how that referee calls his penalties. I don't think you should go into the game with a bias towards a certain player. Once again, every game is the same."