Antoine Vermette, a centre for the Anaheim Ducks, was sent off in his side's 1-0 NHL victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday after striking an official with his stick.
The incident came after a face-off where linesman Shandor Alphonso dropped the puck between Vermette and an opponent.
Apparently unhappy with the drop, Vermette turned towards Alphonso and struck him on the leg.
The 34-year-old was sent off for the third period incident and now faces a 10-game suspension - the automatic punishment for striking an official, a "Category II" offence according to NHL rules - pending an appeal.
Vermette is a highly experienced hockey player, having played in the NHL for 15 years and was a part of the Chicago Blackhawks team which won the Stanley Cup in 2015.
He is also seen as one of the league's most accomplished face-off men, winning 62.4 per cent of his head-to-heads.
But, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Vermette was under par on Tuesday night, winning just six of his 17 face-offs as he was dominated by opposite number Mikko Koivu before being sent off after that moment of madness.