Thanks to the NHL Officials Association, Antoine Vermette’s suspension for slashing a referee won’t be reduced.
The slash earned him an abuse of official penalty, an ejection and a 10-game suspension from the league.
Looking to get his suspension reduced, Vermette appealed the 10-game ban. The NHL and NHLPA agreed to reduce the penalty to five games, however, the Officials Association wasn’t buying it. Instead, they vetoed the reduction. Vermette will serve all 10 games.
Looks like a deal was in place between the NHL and PA to reduce Antoine Vermette suspension to 5 games. The Officials Association said no.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 25, 2017
Vermette wasn’t too thrilled about the announcement.
In a statement, he admitted to making a mistake slashing official Shandor Alphonso. But, Vermette also called the suspension “excessive” and revealed he’ll be reviewing his options on possible recourse.
Statement from Antoine Vermette, whose 10-game suspension was upheld today: pic.twitter.com/u9Rk30XaS1
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 26, 2017
It should come to no surprise the Officials Association isn’t backing down. Last year, the NHL acted far too wishy-washy in Dennis Wideman’s abuse of official case. After injuring official Don Henderson, Wideman received a 20-game ban from the NHL. An independent arbitrator later reduced the suspension to 10 games (he served 19, but was refunded salary). Officials don’t want a repeat of Wideman’s suspension.
Regardless, Vermette doesn’t really have the footing to stand on. Slashing an official is a huge no-no. 10 games seem perfectly fine. Next time, don’t slash an official? It’s not too much to ask.