The National Hockey League on Wednesday applied for a judicial review of the Dennis Wideman decision.
On Feb. 3, the Calgary Flames defenseman was suspended for 20 games, without pay for conduct violative of Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials) during NHL Game No. 742 in Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Wideman appealed the suspension, which was upheld on Feb. 17 by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
On March 11, a neutral arbitrator reduced the suspension to 10 games.
The following is a statement from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on Wednesday's action:
"We can confirm that the National Hockey League today filed an action in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York seeking to vacate Arbitrator James Oldham's arbitration decision reducing the League's supplementary discipline suspension to Player Dennis Wideman from 20 to 10 games. We believe that Arbitrator Oldham, in reaching his decision, exceeded his contractual authority by failing to properly apply the parties' collectively bargained standard of review. Today's action was motivated primarily by our regard for the collective bargaining process and the importance of maintaining and safeguarding the parties' reasonable expectations arising from the agreements made in that process. The timing of today's filing was dictated exclusively by the requirements of the federal rules governing these actions. We do not intend to offer any further comment pending the conclusion of the court's review."