NEW YORK -- Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman has been 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, the National Hockey League announced today.
The incident occurred at 11:19 of the second period.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Wideman will forfeit $564,516.20. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The National Hockey League Players' Association said it has filed an appeal.
"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. An appeal has been filed on the player's behalf."
Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke issued a statement after the suspension was announced:
"We were informed earlier today that our player, Dennis Wideman, was suspended for contact with an official in last Wednesday's game against Nashville. We disagree with the severity of today's suspension ruling and maintain that Dennis' collision with the linesman was unintentional and accidental. We agree that our officials' safety and well-being is of extreme importance in order to allow them to perform their duties. They perform an invaluable but underappreciated role in our game. We support sanctions against players who make deliberate contact with any official. However, unintentional and accidental contact does occur at times in our game. We will have no further comment on the matter at this time."