A penalty suspending the recipient for the rest of the current game, but usually not causing the recipient's team to be shorthanded. Any player who receives a game misconduct will automatically be fined $200 by the NHL and may be subject to further fines or suspensions.
A game misconduct is different from a match penalty, because a player receiving a match penalty will cause his team to be shorthanded for a certain amount of time (usually for five minutes). After a game misconduct is given, the on-ice situation remains the same (for example, teams will continue to play five on five if that was the case before the game misconduct was handed out).
The following incidents may result in a player receiving a game misconduct during an NHL game: attempting to continue a fight after it has been stopped, getting involved in a fight taking place off the playing surface (i.e. the ice), leaving the team bench or penalty box to get involved in a fight, being the third man in a fight already in progress, interfering with or persisting to dispute or physically abusing a referee, making an obscene gesture, making racist remarks, deliberately trying to injure a non-player (a coach, manager or spectator), and spitting on an opponent.