On Tuesday night, Anaheim’s Antoine Vermette was ejected from the Ducks-Wild game for slashing a linesman. The play happened after a faceoff in which the puck was dropped while Vermette hadn’t set his stick back into place. Frustrated, Vermette used his stick on the linesman’s leg.
According to John Shannon, the rule by which Vermette was ejected comes with an automatic 10-game suspension, pending appeal.
This can be found under Rule 40 in the NHL Rulebook, which goes over punishments for Abuse of an Official in three categories. As Shannon mentioned, Vermette’s ejection falls under Category 2:
Automatic Suspension – Category II – Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), 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 right to appeal the automatic suspension, which would be heard by commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman can choose to increase, decrease or uphold the 10-game suspension.
The closest recent example to what Vermette did happened just last season, when Dennis Wideman hit a linesman into the boards. That action fell into Category I, which carried an automatic 20-game suspension. In that case, the NHLPA appealed the automatic suspension and got it reduced to 10 games by an independent arbitrator.
Anaheim's next game is Friday against the Florida Panthers.