NHL suspends Vermette for 10 games after slashing official

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Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette has received a 10-game suspension for abusing an NHL official, the league announced.

Vermette, 34, was ejected from Tuesday's 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild when he slashed linesman Shandor Alphonso in the back during the third period.

The NHL deemed the incident a Category II offence, which carries an automatic 10-game ban.

Vermette can appeal within 72 hours and request a hearing with league commissioner Gary Bettman.

The suspension nonetheless will begin Friday when the Ducks host the Florida Panthers. He would be eligible to return on March 12.

Vermette stands to lose $97,222.22 in salary if the ban is served in full.