Ducks' Vermette facing lengthy ban for slashing linesman


Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette was issued a 10-game ban by the National Hockey League on Thursday for physical abuse of officials after slashing at the leg of a linesman.

It is the first time in his 13-year career that Vermette, 34, has been disciplined by the league. He helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2015 and aided the Ottawa Senators' run to the 2007 final. He will have an in-person hearing with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, followed by a hearing with an independent arbitrator.

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The normally mild-mannered Vermette appeared to act out of frustration when Alphonso dropped the puck before the forward had put his stick in place on the ice. Vermette has been the NHL's most proficient faceoff man this season, winning 62.4 percent of his 985 draws.

If Vermette immediately serves an entire 10-game suspension, he would be out until the Ducks have just 14 games left in their regular season.

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The suspension nonetheless will begin Friday when the Ducks host the Panthers.

Now, as was expected, he's getting a ten-game ban for his troubles.

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Bettman can uphold the suspension, increase the number of games within the category of violation or change the act to a lower category. Henderson also incurred a concussion when Wideman hit him. He was refunded his lost salary for the difference.