Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette was ejected from his team's game against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday for abuse of an official.
Vermette was given a 10-minute game misconduct in the third period for slapping a linesman with his stick after a faceoff. Vermette appeared upset with the ref after a faceoff before hitting him in the back of the leg with his stick.
Vermette's infraction could fall under Rule 40.3 of the NHL rule book, which would call for an automatic 10-game suspension.
Rule 40.3 states: 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.
Category I infractions (Rule 40.2) deal with intent to injure infractions.
Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman was suspended 20 games for abuse of an official last season, after cross checking a ref on his way back to the bench. Wideman's suspension was later reduced to 10 games through an appeal.
The Ducks won Tuesday night's game, 1-0.
In his first season with the Ducks, Vermette has eight goals and 14 points in 57 games.