Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman sent linesman Don Henderson to the ice when he checked him from behind during a game against the Nashville Predators. The NHL said Wideman has been suspended pending a hearing with NHL Hockey Operations on Feb. 2.
In the second period Wednesday night, Wideman was skating toward the Flames’ bench when he cross-checked Henderson, who had his back to the defenceman.
Moments earlier, Wideman had taken a hit from the Predators’ Miikka Salomaki.
WATCH: The NHL has suspended Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman pending a hearing with NHL hockey operations on February 2 for hitting linesman Don Henderson during . Brendan Parker reports.
Wideman said after the game his hit on the linesman was unintentional.
“I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner and had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and my neck and I was just trying to get off the ice and I was kind of keeled over and at the last second, I looked up and I saw him and I couldn’t avoid it,” said Wideman.
At the next stoppage, Wideman skated over to where the officials were gathered and apologized.
“Throughout my career and I’ve been around for a few years, I think I’ve treated every official with the utmost respect and I would never intentionally try to hit a linesman or a ref or anything like that,” Wideman added.
There was no penalty called on Wideman on the play.
TSN’s Darren Dregger reports that Colin Campbell, Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League, is investigating the hit.
Dregger later tweeted Wideman will face an indefinite suspension.
According to NHL rules, the minimum suspension a player could face for intentionally checking a referee or linesman is 20 games.
Wideman is in his 11th NHL season, and fourth with the Flames. The 32-year-old defenceman entered the game with 94 career goals, 275 assists and 471 penalty minutes. He has two goals, 19 points and 30 penalty minutes this season.
With files from The Canadian Press
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