The NHL is investigating an incident in which one of its umpires was caught saying he “wanted to get” a penalty against the Predators in their win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
With 15:04 to play in the second period, Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called up for tripping Red Wings defender Jon Merrill in the offensive zone, though replays showed Merrill embellishing the knockdown for draw attention.
The umpires officiating the game were veterans Tim Peel and Kelly Sutherland. Peel appeared to request the penalty from Arvidsson from the center of the ice.
With 12:42 remaining in the second period, the Nashville broadcast captured audio of an official on the ice saying, “It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a goddamn penalty against Nashville early.”
The NHL told ESPN that it is “reviewing” the incident.
Nashville won the game 2-0.
Both teams received three penalties, while the Predators took a quarter for putting the puck on the glass in the third period.
When asked after the contest about what the official was heard to say, Nashville coach John Hynes said: “I think the situation is what it is. I think from our perspective, it probably doesn’t matter how I feel about it. Generally speaking, the referees are employees of the league, and more than I comment, I think it’s an issue that the league will have to deal with. “
Hynes said that “you always want to have things that are fair for your players and for your team”, but that there are no excuses.
“We have to find a way to kill the penalty and control what we can control,” he said.