The National Hockey League has suspended Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman for 20 games for knocking over a linesman according to Bob Mckenzie of TSN.
During the play, Wideman gets crunched across the boards and gets up and starts skating towards linesman Don Henderson. Wideman slogs his way to the bench before shockingly bumping into Henderson knocking him over. He makes no attempt to avoid him and hits him hard to the ice, not even looking back to check how he is. Some saw the hit as Wideman seeking retribution for not getting a penalty called, while others suggest he just didn’t see him.
The 32-year-old apologized after the game and made it clear it wasn’t intentional.
“I was just trying to get off the ice. At the last second, I looked up and saw him,” Wideman said after the game. “I couldn’t avoid it. I didn’t know where to go or how to get out of the way of him.”
“Throughout my career I think I’ve treated every official with the utmost respect,” Wideman added. “I’d never try to intentionally hit a linesman or ref.”
Intentional or not, Henderson spent the following night in the hospital and was dealing with neck pain and nausea. Wideman, at the time, was suspended indefinitely.
20 games is a serious suspension, as it rivals Todd Bertuzzi’s suck-punch on Steve Moore and Steve Downie’s deliberate hit to the head of Dean McAmmond.
Per General Fanager, Wideman will forfeit $564,516 in salary in the 20 games he misses.