NEW YORK/TORONTO -- The National Hockey League Players' Association and National Hockey League jointly released today the opinion of James Oldham, the NHL/NHLPA Neutral Discipline Arbitrator, in the appeal of the suspension of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman.
View Oldham's opinion (PDF)
The NHL issued the following statement after the opinion was announced:
"We are in receipt of Arbitrator James Oldham's Opinion in the appeal of Dennis Wideman's supplementary discipline suspension and reducing the suspension from 20 to 10 games. We strenuously disagree with the Arbitrator's ruling and are reviewing the Opinion in detail to determine what next steps may be appropriate. We will have no further comment until we have completed our review. In light of and in response to Arbitrator Oldham's Opinion, Mr. Wideman will be reinstated and will be eligible to participate in his team's games, effective immediately."
The NHLPA issued the following statement Friday:
"Given that it was undisputed that Dennis suffered a concussion mere seconds prior to his collision with linesman Don Henderson, we felt strongly that there should have been no discipline. Nonetheless we are pleased that Arbitrator Oldham found that the collision was not intentional and that the suspension was reduced to 10 games. We respect the process and the decision and we look forward to Dennis returning to the ice tonight with his teammates."