Wideman leaves the official flat on the ice.
body check

Wayne Barnes doesn't know how lucky he is... NHL player faces suspension for hit on referee

Dennis Wideman is facing a long period off the ice.

CALGARY FLAMES DEFENCEMAN Dennis Wideman is facing a lengthy suspension after appearing to intentionally cross-check an official from behind during the Flames’ 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.

The incident came in the second period after Wideman was checked into the boards and no foul was called.

Wideman got up from the hit slowly and started skating toward the Flames’ bench.

Referee Don Henderson was skating backward and watching the play up the ice when Wideman extended his stick and hit Henderson from behind, sending him to the ice.

Henderson was on the ice for several moments before getting up and continuing the game. No penalty was given to Wideman for the hit.

After the game, Wideman said the hit was not intentional, saying he didn’t see Henderson until the last second and that he “couldn’t avoid it.”

“I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner,” Wideman told the media.

I had some pretty good pain in my shoulder, my neck. I was just trying to get off the ice. I was kind of keeled over and at the last second I looked up and saw him. I couldn’t avoid it. I went up to Donnie and apologised to him on the ice. I didn’t see him. I didn’t know where to go or how to get out of the way of him.”

If the hit is deemed intentional, the minimum penalty will be a 20-game suspension. Here is the rule, via ESPN.

What will hurt Wideman’s defence — besides the ugly nature of the hit itself — is that he didn’t seem to react or show any remorse in the moments after the hit.

After striking Henderson, Wideman continued to the bench without checking to see whether Henderson was OK. Later, Wideman appeared to be discussing the incident with somebody and seemed to shrug it off as if he didn’t care (via ESPN and Fox Sports).

Not a good look for Wideman, and it is probably safe to assume that the NHL will come down hard.

Clermont flanker Viktor Kolelishvili was, of course, hit with a 14-week suspension after this push on Wayne Barnes last month:

- Cork Gaines, Business Insider 

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