Dennis Wideman has been suspended indefinitely pending a post-All Star game hearing for hitting a referee on Wednesday night reports Darren Dreger of TSN.ca.
Indefinite suspension for Wideman pending post All Star hearing.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 28, 2016
Dreger reports details are still being finalized, but Wideman’s hearing will probably be on Tuesday.
Sportsnet’s Eric Francis also reported that Don Henderson, the linesman Wideman knocked to the ice, was in the hospital until 5 AM following the hit, dealing with neck pain and nausea. He reports Henderson had a concussion test under the concussion protocol as well.
Wideman’s intent on the play is still unknown. He was hit hard and looked shaken up, which could have caused him to skate up the ice and accidentally make contact with Henderson, but from the video it sure looks like the play was intentional. Wideman may have been concussed himself, which would explain him running into the linesman.
That's a long skate before Wideman hit the linesman. https://t.co/eXRst3mLSd
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) January 28, 2016
The best result in this situation may be to find a middle ground and suspend Wideman, but not for an extended period of time. It’s too hard to say whether the incident was intentional. Although him clapping his stick on the ice before coming off, and not checking on Henderson after hitting him seems to suggest it was.
Again, things are murky. If the NHL deems Wideman intentionally hit Henderson than he’s going to face a suspension in the double digits, especially considering he put him in the hospital – and if he did go out of his way to harm a linesman, that’s the right call.