The hockey world recently received a reminder of the dangers that come with officiating the fastest sport on ice.
During Thursday night’s contest between the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena, Jonathan Toews and Oliver Ekman-Larsson were battling for a puck in the corner of Arizona’s end. As Toews skated up the boards with Ekman-Larsson in pursuit, Tim Peel — one of the game’s referees — found himself in a bit of a precarious spot.
While the two captains battled, Ekman-Larsson tripped up Toews, leading him to become tangled with Peel. Their collision resulted in the veteran official hitting the ice hard.
According to Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, the freak run-in caused Peel to fracture his ankle, as reported by Craig Morgan of The Athletic. During the play, the 53-year-old ended up twisted and landed on his ankle, resulting in the injury.
After quickly realizing his situation, Peel jumped the boards into the Coyotes’ bench and was treated by the team’s medical staff. He did not return to the game.
Peel is currently in his 21st season as an NHL referee, according to Scouting the Refs. Since making his debut in 1999, he has worked 1,331 regular season games and 90 playoff contests.
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