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Flames’ Dennis Wideman suspended 20 games for linesman hit

Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman was suspended Wednesday for 20 games for crosschecking a linesman in January.
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Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman was suspended for 20 games by the NHL for crosschecking linesman Don Henderson during a Jan. 27 game against the Nashville Predators, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The National Hockey League Players’ Association will appeal the suspension on behalf of Wideman.

“We strongly disagree with the League’s decision to suspend Dennis Wideman,” the NHLPA said in a statement. “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.”

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.

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Wideman claimed after the game that he did not see Henderson coming and couldn’t avoid him on his way off the ice.

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis reported that Henderson was in the hospital until early the next morning in concussion protocol with neck pain and nausea.

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Wideman’s ban 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.

Calgary has been granted non-roster status for Wideman, the team announced on Wednesday. The Flames have activated forward Micheal Ferland from injured reserve.