40.1 Game Misconduct - Any player who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official, in any manner attempts to injure an official, physically demeans, or deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall receive a game misconduct penalty. In addition, the following (40.2, 40.3, 40.4) disciplinary penalties shall apply.
40.2 Automatic Suspension – Category I - Any player who deliberately strikes an official and causes injury or who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official with intent to injure, or who in any manner attempts to injure an official shall be automatically suspended for not less than twenty (20) games. (For the purpose of the rule, “intent to injure” shall mean any physical force which a player or goalkeeper knew or should have known could reasonably be expected to cause injury.)
40.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II - Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official,shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.
40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III - Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.
40.5 Automatic Suspension – Process - Immediately after the game in which such game misconduct penalty is imposed, the Referees shall, in consultation with the Linesmen, decide the category of the offense. They shall make a verbal report to the League’s Director of Hockey Operations and advise of the category and of the offense. In addition, they shall file a written report to the Director of Hockey Operations in which they may request a review as to the adequacy of the suspension. The NHLPA, the player and the Club involved shall be notified of the decision of the Referees on the morning following the game. The League will then hold a conference call with the NHLPA to review the Referees application of this rule, and will refrain from issuing public comment affirming the Referees application of Rule 40 until that call is complete.
The player or the officials may request the Commissioner to review, subject to the provisions of this rule, the penalty imposed by the Referees. Such request must be filed with the Commissioner in writing not later than seventy-two (72) hours following notification of the penalty.
If a review of the incident is requested by either the player, goalkeeper or by the officials, a hearing will be conducted by the Commissioner on an expedited basis, and best efforts will be used to provide a hearing before the second game missed by the player due to the automatic suspension imposed under this rule. The player’s suspension shall continue pending the outcome of the hearing by the Commissioner.
For Category III offenses only, the Commissioner may conduct the hearing by telephone. For Category I and II offenses, the hearing shall be conducted in person.
After any review as called for hereby, the Commissioner shall issue an order that:
(i) sustaining the minimum suspension, or
(ii) increasing the number of games within the category, or
(iii) changing to a lower category, or
(iv) changing to a lower category and increasing the number of games within this category, or
(v) in the case of a Category III suspension only, reducing the number of games of the suspension.
The penalties imposed under this rule shall not be deemed to limit the right of the Commissioner with respect to any action that he might otherwise take pursuant to Article 18 of the CBA.
40.6 Supplementary Discipline - In the event that the player has committed more than one offense under this rule, in addition to the penalties imposed under this offense, his case shall be referred to the Commissioner of the League for consideration of supplementary disciplinary action.
40.7 Coach or Non-Playing Club Personnel - Any Manager, Coach or non-playing Club personnel who holds or strikes an official shall be automatically suspended from the game, ordered to the dressing room and the matter will be reported to the Commissioner for further disciplinary action.
40.8 Police Protection and Security - All Clubs shall provide adequate police or other protection for all players, goalkeepers and officials at all times.
The Referee shall report to the Commissioner any failure of this protection observed by him or reported to him with particulars of such failure.