Fighting in hockey is cool.
Everyone knows that.
Fighting — or making contact — with a referee is not.
Everyone should know that, but it sometimes happens.
On Tuesday night, Anaheim veteran Antoine Vermette was the latest hockey player to take a swipe at an on-ice official when, apparently upset at the way rookie linesman Shandor Alphonso handled a face off, slashed the ref in the back of his leg with his stick.
Vermette was immediately kicked out of the game and now he faces suspension.
How much Vermette gets isn’t known.
Shick is expected to speak with the NHL’s Colin Campbell about the situation.
Vermette is expected to get at least 10 games — but could draw 20 — for striking the official.
Last year, former Florida (briefly) defenseman Dennis Wideman got a 20-game suspension for cross-checking an official on his way back to the bench.
Wideman’s original sentence was cut to 10 games — although he served 19.
An independent arbitrator ruled Wideman was likely concussed and didn’t know what he was doing when he hit linesman Don Henderson.
Vermette can’t say the same.
According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said Vermette felt he wasn’t ready for the drop of the puck.
“He touched the official,” Carlyle said. “What are you going to do? ... We have a view on it; they have a view on it. Whatever they decide, we have to live with.”