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It’s linesman-hitting night in the NHL!

This play is definitely going to be reviewed by the NHL, but I'm not sure what decision they're going to make. Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman got hit very hard by Nashville Predators forward Miikka Salomaki, and as Wideman gets up and goes to the bench, linesman Don Henderson...do we go with "gets in the way" or "got clipped by Wideman?" Both things appear to have happened:

At 1 AM, TSN posted this:

Afterwards Wideman said the incident was "completely unintentional and I already apologized to him".

"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," explained Wideman. "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. It was an accident and I feel really bad about it."

Update: For comparison's sake, see: Milan Loosick...I mean Milan Lucic...slugging Jay Sharrers in the face while trying to get at Cody McLeod:

That'll get reviewed, too.

added 7:17am, Wideman's explanation, watch below...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: calgary+flames, cody+mcleod, colorado+avalanche, dennis+wideman, los+angeles+kings, milan+lucic, nashville+predators

Comments

All American in MN's avatar

This is just good hard and clean Canadian hockey.  As an ignorant American I will never be able to understand that this is simply the right way to play the game.

Does Wideman:
1) ensure he lines up an “opponent” for the hit? Check.
2) ensure opponent has the puck?  Check.
3) ensure not to line up opponent for half the length of the ice? Check.
4) ensure opponent’s back is not facing him the entire time? Check.
5) apologize like a code-abiding-player to make everything better? Check.

All is well here DoPS and Hockey Ops. Nothing to see here with the above mentioned criteria. Move along.  This was clearly a hockey play.

Posted by All American in MN on 01/28/16 at 07:34 AM ET

Avatar

This is just good hard and clean Canadian hockey.

Hey cool, it’s about time some moron somehow made it about America vs Canada.

Good job, jackass.

Posted by Garth on 01/28/16 at 09:56 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Give it a rest, Garth. Your national icon, Don Cherry, would have made this a “Canada v the World” issue if it was an American or European that did this.

You accept an asshat as your national spokesman, you better be able to handle the heat.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 01/28/16 at 10:19 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I’d prefer teams discipline this $hit internally versus leave it up to the DOPS.
But when you have a complete POS like Lucic on your payroll, you knew what you were getting when you hired him.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/28/16 at 10:23 AM ET

Avatar

@ Red Winger.  Sooo true!! Canada isn’t even a real county anyway.

Posted by SlimChance on 01/28/16 at 10:34 AM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

The Wideman hit was weird.  I honestly don’t know what to think of that one.  I was expecting a collision, but Wideman did get his hands and stick up.  Could have just been a reaction to seeing someone appear directly in front.  If Wideman was dazed and concentrating on getting to the bench, he might have just looked past the linesman.  Or, he could have been pissed about getting hammered and just reacted to the first person he saw.  Like I said, just weird.

The Lucic one, though, looks like a complete accident to me.  He swung at Mcleod and it looked like it grazed the helmet and then hit the ref.  Lucic is sometimes an idiot, but that really didn’t look intentional.  I doubt anything supplemental discipline gets handed out for it.  I’ve seen a number of officials get punched during altercations and I don’t remember any of the players getting fined or suspended.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 01/28/16 at 10:36 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The Calgary Flames defenceman said he didn’t see linesman Don Henderson standing there, despite skating more than 100 feet in Henderson’s direction on his path to the bench, before knocking Henderson to the ice on Wednesday night with his arms extended.

Wideman called the contact “completely unintentional.” There was no penalty called on the play.

Even if it was unintentional, Wideman’s hit may result in a 10-game suspension for physical abuse of officials according to Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials) in the NHL’s rulebook.

Wideman appeared to be woozy after a hard check in the corner from Nashville Predators forward Miikka Salomaki. On his way to the Flames’ bench, Wideman made contact with Henderson, who had his back to the defenceman.
A small stutter in Wideman’s skates at the last second indicated he might not have seen Henderson.

more

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/28/16 at 10:38 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I really hope Wideman doesn’t get anything discipline-wise.  I watched the video of it numerous times, and it’s pretty clear he’s not actually in there when it happens.  Those eyes are… scary.  It sure looks like he gets his hands up because he literally can’t think of anything else to do in the fuzzy moment.  And while I can understand wanting to protect officials, the league also has an obligation to protect its players too.

Posted by Primis on 01/28/16 at 10:44 AM ET

All American in MN's avatar

Awwww, thanks Garth for that term of endearment.  You just made my day, friend! i forgot that if we don’t agree with you, then we are the ones with problems. #Insecure

Posted by All American in MN on 01/28/16 at 10:50 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Wideman launched himself at the guy, extending his stick.  How is that not intentional?  Heck, he made a bee-line straight to the linesman, hit his stick to the ice, then crosschecked him. 

THN said something about 20 games being possible, but I couldn’t see that happening.  If anything, maybe he gets 2. 

Lucic - 0.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/28/16 at 10:57 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Wideman’s head bounced of the boards second before. If they fine or suspend him, not much you can say against it because guys have to be responsible… but I think it is pretty clear that Wideman was concussed and there was no intent. If I were the linesman and saw these replays I’d call the DoPS and say, “Guys, we’re good… tell Wideman he needs to sit out and heal his brain.”

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/28/16 at 11:05 AM ET

Paul's avatar

The ESPN crew on the Wideman hit.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/28/16 at 11:29 AM ET

Avatar

You accept an asshat as your national spokesman, you better be able to handle the heat.

Donald Trump.

i forgot that if we don’t agree with you

It’s a good thing you’re bright enough to understand what I was saying.

Posted by Garth on 01/28/16 at 12:31 PM ET

Avatar

Sooo true!! Canada isn’t even a real county anyway.

Now see, that’s funny!

Posted by Garth on 01/28/16 at 12:32 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Wideman launched himself at the guy, extending his stick.  How is that not intentional?  Heck, he made a bee-line straight to the linesman, hit his stick to the ice, then crosschecked him.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/28/16 at 09:57 AM ET

Um no.

He got hit and dinged badly, doubled over, got back up, made a bee-line… *for his team’s bench* (which is where he was heading before the linesman backed into him along the boards).

If you watch the video again, Wideman doesn’t react like a guy preparing to hit, there’s even a moment of stutter or confusion, and then what looks like it might be a panicked or confused extension outwards.

But again, all that is pointless IMO, because you can see his face on the bench and see he’s not really in there at that point.  The guy’s body was on autopilot.  He has no motor or cognitive ability to go around the rapidly-backing-in linesman, and the second Wideman gets to the bench he doubles back over again.  And truthfully, at no point does there seem to register that he hit a linesman (or anyone), or that anything happened really.  Maybe the linesman also shouldn’t blindly back along the boards where the benches are?

I can only assume though that you’ve never got your bell rung, or hit your head, or anything in that kind of a situation.  I have and know what it feels like.  Afterwards, you really can’t explain what you did or why, because there is no explanation, there was no thought process.  Your body and brain is basically in crisis survival mode.  You sometimes can barely see or process what’s in front of you.

Posted by Primis on 01/28/16 at 02:18 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Kerry Fraser of TSN,

I had to take a very deep breath to avoid overreacting as I watched Dennis Wideman run over my friend and former colleague Don Henderson from behind. When I saw the finishing push of Wideman’s hands high on the back of the linesman my first reaction was, “You SOB, you did that on purpose!”

After a closer look, given the stutter-step executed by Wideman at the last second prior to impact, I have to believe that the Calgary defenceman really didn’t see the linesman until a collision was imminent and did not strike Henderson with intent to injure. If that was the case, an automatic suspension of at least 20 games would be imposed.

Given the finishing push, I don’t believe that Wideman should be given a pass either….

I determine that Wideman’s needless and dangerous shove from behind with total disregard for the safety of the linesman to be worthy of a suspension not less than 10 games under Rule 40.3—category ll.

more

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/28/16 at 02:40 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Wideman doesn’t react like a guy preparing to hit, there’s even a moment of stutter or confusion, and then what looks like it might be a panicked or confused extension outwards.

I see where you are coming from.  In the ~15 times or so I’ve watched it, I’ve taken the extension of the arms as being intentional, whereas you see it as panic/confusion. 

I can only assume though that you’ve never got your bell rung, or hit your head, or anything in that kind of a situation.

I have, and honestly I have respect for these guys being able to get up and skate off the ice as quick as they do.  I’m not sure how they find their legs so quick.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/28/16 at 02:42 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Eric Francis tweet,

Breaking: linesman Don Henderson was in hospital until 5 am following hit by Wideman, dealing w neck pain & nausea. Concussion protocol done

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/28/16 at 02:54 PM ET

Avatar

Regardless of whether he was all there or not, if that was an opposing player he would have gotten a 5 minute major and possibly a game or two. 

Definitely not an easy call as the intention wasn’t there, but IMO a suspension should definitely be incoming.

Posted by neffernin on 01/28/16 at 03:11 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Eric Francis tweet,

Breaking: linesman Don Henderson was in hospital until 5 am following hit by Wideman, dealing w neck pain & nausea. Concussion protocol done

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/28/16 at 01:54 PM ET

Oof…

I thought that looked bad, but it just got worse.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 01/28/16 at 03:55 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

The only term that comes to mind is, ‘buried him’.  I don’t know how anyone can’t see that he slammed the guy down in apparent frustration, whether the collision was accidental or not.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/28/16 at 04:37 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

And I love how he says he apologized, even though he totally went to the bench and ignored the fact that he just destroyed a dude not wearing equipment.  “I’ll say sorry later…no need to glance back”.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/28/16 at 04:39 PM ET

Ass Moses's avatar

If - he was dazed the play is excusable (concussion)
If - he wasn’t dazed then he just drilled a Zebra gets the 20 games that goes with that action.


My Solution….

League (unseen) makes him sit out a few weeks on the IR (paid) with a concussion.

Posted by Ass Moses on 01/28/16 at 04:44 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

#Insecure

What kind of person uses hashtags on a blog?  Go back to Twitter man

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 01/28/16 at 10:14 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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