Dennis Wideman has apologized after being suspended 20 games for his blindside assault on linesman Don Henderson during a Jan. 27 game against the Nashville Predators.
“Firstly, I want to apologize to Donnie Henderson,” Wideman said. “I feel awful about what happened. Hopefully, he's recovering and he's going to be back on the ice soon, but I feel really bad about the whole situation. The last seven days have been tough.”
The crosschecking of Henderson occurred midway through the second period, just after Wideman had taken a hit from Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki and was en route to Calgary’s bench.
Watch Wideman's apology below:
Wideman claimed after the game that he did not see Henderson coming and couldn’t avoid him on his way off the ice.
Wideman’s suspension ties Tom Lysiak’s 20-game suspension from 1983 for the second longest in league history for the abuse of an official, behind Billy Coutu’s lifetime ban in 1927.
“As far as the suspension goes, I'm really disappointed with the decision and the length of the suspension,” Wideman said. “I did not have any intent at any time to hit the official or hurt him or anything like that. I would never do something like that, and I'm pretty disappointed with the decision.”
The NHL Players Association has filed an appeal on Wideman's behalf.
Calgary has been granted non-roster status for Wideman, the team announced on Wednesday. The Flames have activated forward Micheal Ferland from injured reserve.