from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Wings forward Sam Gagner read on social media about the NHL's decision to ban Peel Wednesday while using an off-day to recover from the schedule's hectic pace.
“It’s an unfortunate incident,” Gagner said. “Tim has a lot of respect around the game, he’s been in the league a long time. It’s never great to see a guy go out that way. As a player, you never want that to happen.
“You kind of understand that game management is a thing that goes on. I’ve heard you’ve got to let the teams play, but part of that is, penalties tend to even out as the game goes on, and sometimes they probably shouldn’t. Things happen really fast for referees. It’s not a position I envy. It’s just unfortunate to see Tim go out that way, with the career he’s had.”...
Coach Jeff Blashill echoed Gagner’s sympathy, saying, “I’ve got lots of respect for Tim Peel as a man. I think he’s been somebody I’ve respected from Day 1 in this league. So that part is unfortunate, because I think he’s a really good ref and a good man.”
Blashill is in his sixth season coaching the Wings. He often has talked about how hard it can be for referees to make the right call given the speed of the game. That’s something the league has addressed, enabling coaches to challenge when referees signal a goal. The Wings did so successfully Tuesday when replays showed Calle Jarnkrok clipped goaltender Thomas Greiss. In such a case, the decision comes from the Situation Room in Toronto.
“There’s zero doubt in my mind that we’ve got a great group of officials who ref this game with integrity,” Blashill said. “It means tons to them. I’ve had heated conversations with different refs at different times, and one thing I know for certain, is that they care about doing a great job. It’s their livelihood."