Just days after our own story about ref abuse in hockey, we’re seeing an NHL veteran at the center of a ref abuse issue.
In last night’s game featuring the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild, veteran center Antoine Vermette slashed a referee after a face-off loss. The ref quickly blew his whistle and met with the rest of his team to discuss what had happened. Due to the slash, and the NHL’s rules regarding ref abuse, Vermette received a game misconduct and was sent to the locker room.
Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Vermette will be handed a 10 game suspension for abuse of an official. The Ducks forward can certainly appeal his suspension, but after showing such blatant disrespect for an on-ice official, it would be surprising if it happened.
NHL discipline docket: DET Gustav Nyquist hearing 2 pm. ANA Antoine Vermette gets Category II (10 game suspension) for abuse of official.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 15, 2017
The biggest question surrounding the whole situation is why Vermette did what he did. He is a veteran of the league and should have known better than to do that. However, you could argue that he was simply tapping the official to get him to stop play after a bad puck drop. From the video below, you can clearly see that Vermette was not ready for the face-off when the puck was dropped. Regardless, you have to know the limits and swatting at the official the way Vermette did clearly crossed the line.