Nashville Predators forward Matt Duchene called Tuesday night's incident where National Hockey League referee Tim Peel was caught on a hot mic admitting to wanting to call a penalty on his team during their matchup with the Detroit Red Wings "really bizarre."
In the aftermath, the league announced on Wednesday that the veteran referee will "no longer be working NHL games now or in the future."
In an appearance on ESPN Radio The Game 102.5's "Robby and Rexrode Show" with Robby Stanley and Joe Rexrode, Duchene revealed that Peel was actually talking to Predators forward Filip Forsberg during the clip.
🎧 ICYMI: @Matt9Duchene was asked this morning about the breaking news of Tim Peel no longer officiating NHL games following last night's hot mic incident in the #Preds game.— ESPN 102.5 The Game 😷 (@1025TheGame) March 24, 2021
Here was his response w/ @RStanleyNHL & @joerexrode 👇 pic.twitter.com/idaVaMOlOc
"He’s a veteran ref," Duchene said of Peel. "It was his last year, anyway, so I think that’s maybe why they let him go, rather than maybe suspending him or fining him, but the crazy thing is that he was talking to Fil[ip] Forsberg in that clip. And he told our bench that, so [it was] really bizarre and I just think that can’t happen. Imagine the scenario where they score on that power-play, we lose the game and we miss the playoffs by a point. Imagine that scenario and that can happen, right? Like that is not out of the realm of possibility, right? I don’t think there’s a place in hockey for that. You gotta call the game."
Duchene told the show that he'd like to think this was an isolated incident, but that he's always been angered by "even-up calls" during games.
"I’ve always been frustrated when I see even-up calls or stuff like that," Duchene said. "Like if one team is earning power-plays, you can’t punish them because the other team is not. That call was not a good call on [Viktor Arvidsson]. We were watching it and were like ‘What the heck was that?’ That wasn’t even close to a penalty. It was bizarre. I hope that’s not something that goes on with more officials, but there’s definitely nights when you’re skeptical of it, for sure."
The Predators won Tuesday night's game 2-0.