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Flames’ Wideman Suspended 20 Games
- Updated: February 3, 2016
Defenseman Suspended for Hitting Referee
NEW YORK-Even though there’s 34 games left in their regular season schedule, the Calgary Flames could be seeing their playoff hopes slowly fade away as they currently sit eight points out and have to jump three other teams in their division to get there. However, as the Ottawa Senators proved last season, it ain’t over until it’s over. The problem for the Flames, though, is they will have to get through the majority of those last 34 games without one of their top blueliners.
Defenseman Dennis Wideman was suspended for 20 games on Wednesday after he hit a referee on January 27.
The incident occurred during Calgary’s game against the Nashville Predators last Wednesday.
A little more than halfway through the game, Wideman was checked into the boards in his own zone by Predators forward Miikka Salomaki. After the hit, the 32-year-old skated along the boards back toward his team’s bench. As he approached center ice, linesman Don Henderson was following the play back up the ice toward the Calgary zone, but was skating backwards. Wideman needed to get around Henderson to get to the bench, but instead of going around the linesman, Wideman decked Henderson with a cross-check that caught the unsuspecting linesman off-guard.
Henderson stayed down for a while after the hit and eventually was hospitalized following the incident, experiencing nausea and a stiff neck. He also underwent a series of concussion protocol tests. Wideman had said the hit was unintentional and apologized on several occasions.
Apart from the suspension, Wideman will have to forfeit $564,516.20 of his annual salary. Reports state that the blueliner will “likely” appeal his suspension. For now, though, Wideman’s suspension begins tonight. He’s eligible to return on March 14 when Calgary hosts St. Louis.
In 48 games this season, the Ontario native has tallied two goals and 19 points for the Flames.
Photo Credit: Sarah A./via flickr.com