The NHL is looking into whether Dennis Wideman intentionally plowed into a referee. If they determine it was intentional then you can expect a considerable fine and suspension.
The incident occurred midway through the Flames 2-1 loss to Nashville. Wideman was heading off the ice after being hit by Predators winger Salomaki. He appeared dazed as he skated slowly back to his bench, but just as he approached the gate he raised his arms in a crosschecking motion before running into the back of an unsuspecting referee.
Was Wideman upset at the officials because there was no call on the Salomaki hit? Or was he just woozy and didn’t see the referee until the last second?
No penalty was called on the hit for abuse of an official.
“Throughout my career I think I’ve treated every official with the utmost respect and I would never try to intentionally hit a linesman or a ref or anything like that,” explained Wideman, who was ready for the media crush waiting for him after the game.
“It was completely unintentional, and I already apologized to him. Obviously I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner and had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and neck and was just trying to get off the ice.
“I was kind of keeled over and at the last second I saw him and I couldn’t avoid it. I went up to Donnie and apologized. I couldn’t see him and didn’t know where to go or how to get away from him.”
In order for Wideman to be fined and suspended the NHL must prove intent. Wideman’s defense would obviously be that he was dazed and didn’t see the lineman. But should the league prove intent, Wideman could face a suspension of 10 or more games. Wideman said he would be surprised if the league investigated.
Here is a video of the hit, you be the judge…