Dennis Wideman met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman today, attempting to appeal his suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson. Surprise surprise, Bettman sided with the NHL!
I think we all know Bettman would side with the NHL’s decision no matter what, but I think he got it right in this case.
Commissioner Gary Bettman today upheld the 20-game suspension that was assessed to Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman for conduct violative of Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials) during NHL Game No. 742 in Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Wideman met with Commissioner Bettman at a hearing in New York on Feb. 10 pursuant to his appeal of the suspension assessed by NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell on Feb. 3.
The length of suspension includes seven games already served. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Wideman will forfeit $564,516.20. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Wideman, whether he was concussed or not, simply can’t be let off the hook for putting an NHL official in the hospital.
Wideman and NHLPA can now file for independent arbitration. If so, and that is expected, it will be 1st time exercised in most recent CBA.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 17, 2016
The Flames will continue on without Wideman for the next 13 games, unless he can get his suspension overturned by an independent arbitrator.
Time is running out on the Flames’ playoff chances and losing Wideman doesn’t help. They’re 9 points back of the final playoff spot with just 27 games remaining.