NHL suspends Antoine Vermette 10 games for slashing official

Ducks forward Antoine Vermette has been suspended 10 games by the NHL for abuse of an official, the league announced.

The veteran was ejected from Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Wild when he slashed linesman Shandor Alphonso in the back during the third period. The NHL deemed the incident a Category II offense, 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 Panthers. He would be eligible to return March 12.

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

The Sabres selected Phil Housley (No. 6) and Dave Andreychuk (No. 15) in the first round, and they combined to play more than 3,000 NHL games. Housley made it to the Hall of Fame first, in 2015, and Andreychuk, with 640 career goals, followed two years later.

Four players who played 1,000 games in the NHL is an epic haul in one class. Gary Roberts (No. 12), Paul Ranheim (No. 38) and Gary Suter (No. 180) make this an excellent class, but nabbing Brett Hull at No. 117 makes it one of the best for any franchise.

One year after drafting the best player in franchise history (Ron Francis) in 1981, the Whalers went back-to-back-to-back in the middle rounds of the 1982 draft on 1,000-game players. Kevin Dineen (No. 56) and Ulf Samuelsson (No. 67) were traded with Francis to the Penguins in one the best moves of all time (not for the Whalers), and Ray Ferraro (No. 88) had nearly 900 points. Francis was probably enough on his own, but the rest of the 1981 class is pretty barren.

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