The NHL announced this morning that Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette has been automatically suspended for 10 games for abuse of official.
Antoine Vermette Suspended for 10 Games for Abuse of Official
Vermette can appeal his auto 10-game suspension. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would hear appeal. Bettman can uphold/increase/decrease 10 G.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 15, 2017
Vermette was ejected from a game Tuesday between Anaheim and the Minnesota Wild for slashing the leg of linesman Shandor Alphonso after a faceoff. The Ducks ultimately won the game 1-0.
The action was classified by the NHL as a Category II abuse of official offense, which carries with it an automatic 10-game suspension.
The relevant league rule states that “any player who deliberately applies force to an official in any manner . . . which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.”
Vermette has the option to appeal the NHL’s decision, and league commissioner Gary Bettman can rule on whether to uphold the 10-game penalty, or either increase or decrease it.
The last major suspension in the NHL for abusing an official was applied to Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames last season, whose 20-game ban was reduced to 10 after appeal.
As it stands, Vermette would be slated to return to the Anaheim lineup on March 12, when they host the Washington Capitals.
Vermette has recorded 8 goals and 14 assists in 58 games so far this season for the Ducks.