Vermette and the NHLPA had been lobbying for a reduced suspension for the centerman, but Bettman reportedly ruled that the contact made with linesman Shandor Alphonso fit under a Category 2 ruling that justifies the assessment of a 10-game ban for "physical abuse of official foul without intent to injure." Vermette will miss his fifth game Saturday due to the suspension and now won't be eligible to return until March 12.
Vermette's suspension for contact with an official was cut to five games Friday, Doug Maclean of Sportsnet reports.
Vermette should certainly consider this a win after a fairly blatant slash to the leg of an official originally earned him a 10-game suspension. The shortened ban will result in the 34-year-old missing the rest of the Ducks' February contests, but he can now return to action March 3 against Toronto. In the interim, Ondrej Kase will slide up to the top line alongside Ryan Getzlaf.
Vermette was given a 10-game suspension Wednesday for contact with an official, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports.
Vermette slashed the back of an official's leg during Tuesday's matchup with the Wild, which resulted in an ejection. The nature of the act resulted in an automatic 10-game ban; however, the 34-year-old can appeal the decision, which could alter the length of the suspension. With pretty conclusive evidence that it was an intentional act, it seems unlikely the center could get off with a lesser punishment, but it may be worth appealing anyway. Vermette is eligible to return March 12 against the Capitals.
Vermette was ejected from Tuesday's game against the Wild due to abuse of an official.
Video shows Vermette making contact with the linesman with the blade of his stick, apparently having to do with the veteran's displeasure after a face-off. The NHL office might be taking a longer look at this one and the veteran could be facing some sort of disciplinary action from the league. Stay tuned.
Vermette entered the All-Star break with a 14-game goalless streak.
Lining up behind Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler has hindered Vermette's fantasy opportunities, and the 36-year-old veteran is also beginning 57.7 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the defensive zone. Vermette is a much better real-world play for Anaheim than fantasy asset for your virtual club at this stage of the season, and it would likely take an injury to Getzlaf or Kesler for Vermette to tip the fantasy scale.