NHLPA to appeal Dennis Wideman's suspension

02/03 7:00pm EST by THB Staff
Dennis Wideman, NHLPA, Calgary Flames, Blog

The National Hockey League Players’ Association has filed an appeal on behalf of Dennis Wideman.

The Calgary Flames defenseman was suspended 20 games on Wednesday for running into linesman Don Henderson during a Jan. 27 game against the Nashville Predators.

The NHLPA released the following statement on Wednesday evening:

“We strongly disagree with the League’s decision to suspend Dennis Wideman. Dennis has played in 11 NHL seasons and almost 800 games without incident. The facts, including the medical evidence presented at the hearing, clearly demonstrate that Dennis had no intention to make contact with the linesman. An appeal has been filed on the player’s behalf.”

The fact that the NHLPA mentions medical evidence was presented during the hearing suggests that Wideman may have suffered a concussion as a result of the hit he took from Predators' forward Miikka Salomaki just prior to running into Henderson.

However, as TSN's Rick Westhead notes, Wideman was not put through concussion protocol, and finished the game.

The 32-year-old cannot play while his appeal his being heard. Tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes is the first Wideman will miss serving the suspension.

Wideman’s appeal will be handled by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.