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Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman hit a linesman on the way to the bench in Calgary’s Wednesday game against the Nashville Predators.
After getting hit hard by Nashville forward Miikka Salomaki in his zone along the boards, Wideman appeared dazed as he headed off the ice to the Calgary bench. On his way, he cross-checked linesman Don Henderson.
Even though Wideman seemed woozy after the play he stayed in the game. He was not penalized on the play. Henderson also stayed in the game. As to whether Wideman will face discipline, Scouting the Refs brough up Rule 40 in the NHL rulebook, which addresses abuse of official and bolded areas that could apply to Wideman.
40.2 Automatic Suspension – Category I – Any player who deliberately strikes an official and causes injury or who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official with intent to injure, or who in any manner attempts to injure an official shall be automatically suspended for not less than twenty (20) games. (For the purpose of the rule, “intent to injure” shall mean any physical force which a player knew or should have known could reasonably be expected to cause injury.)
40.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II – Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.
The final decision is up to Hockey Operations — not the Department of Player Safety headed by Stephane Quintal. That means the decision falls to Colin Campbell, the league’s Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations.
Wideman said he apologized to Henderson after the hit.
“I was kind of keeled over and at the last second I saw him and couldn’t avoid it. I couldn’t see him and didn’t know where to go or how to get away from him,” Wideman said after the game via Eric Francis of Sportsnet.
Added Wideman via Francis, "Throughout my career I think I've treated every official with the utmost respect and I'd never try to intentionally hit a linesman or ref."
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