NHL upholds 10-game suspension to Ducks forward Antoine Vermette

LOS ANGELES – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday that the 10-game suspension given to Ducks forward Antoine Vermette for striking an official with his stick will be upheld.

Bettman heard Vermette’s appeal for a ban reduction in New York City on Thursday and sided with linesman Shandor Alphonso’s contention that Vermette slashed him after dropping the puck on a faceoff during the third period of a Feb. 14 game at Minnesota.

The NHLPA contended that what Vermette did was a “tap” and argued that it should have been considered a less-serious Category III offense that calls for a three-game suspension. Bettman maintained that it fit under Category II, a physical abuse of official foul without intent to injure.

Vermette will serve the fifth game of his suspension when the Ducks later play an afternoon game at Staples Center against the Kings. He…

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