Statement from Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette, whose 10-game suspension for violating rule Rule 40.3 (Physical Abuse of Officials) during NHL Game No. 840 in Minnesota on Tuesday, Feb. 14 was upheld on Saturday by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Vermette had appealed the suspension.
"First and foremost, I have great respect for the officials and the integrity of the game. Also, I agree that I deserve a suspension. I should never make contact with an official. At the earliest possible opportunity, I apologized to Mr. Shandor Alphonso. I was trying to get his attention and was not trying to hurt him. However, using my stick was a mistake, and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I certainly hope my track record in the NHL will earn me the benefit of the doubt regarding this incident. I feel a 10-game suspension is excessive and will be reviewing my options. I look forward to returning to the lineup as soon as possible."