Ice Hockey

Linesman Don Henderson Reportedly Files Lawsuit Against Flames' Dennis Wideman

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 27:  Dennis Wideman #6 of the Calagary Flames plays the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on December 27, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

National Hockey League linesman Don Henderson has reportedly filed a civil lawsuit against Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman seeking $ 10.25 million in damages related to an incident during a January 2016 game. 

Rick Westhead of The Sports Network reported details of the suit Thursday.

Wideman was on the receiving end of a heavy hit in the corner during a game against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 27, 2016. Then, on his way to the bench, the defenseman cross-checked Henderson from behind into the boards.

The veteran blue-liner released a statement about the situation the following week:

Firstly, I want to apologize to Donnie Henderson. I feel awful about what happened. Hopefully, he’s recovering and he’s going to be back on the ice soon, but I feel really bad about the whole situation. The last seven days have been tough.

Never in my career have I ever disrespected or done anything like this to an official. I think I’ve prided myself on having a great working relationship with the officials, and I hope to continue that when I get out there. But again, I just want to apologize to Donnie. I feel awful about what happened.

The NHL announced a 20-game suspension for the check due to a violation of Rule 40, which covers the “physical abuse of officials.” Independent arbitrator James Oldham later reduced the punishment to 10 games, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to consider it an “intentional action.”

Last February, sources told ESPN that Henderson dealt with concussion symptoms in the aftermath of the hit. A month later, Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe reported the linesman needed neck surgery to “repair damage from the hit,” and friends weren’t sure whether he’d ever return to action.

Wideman appeared in 57 games for the Flames during the 2016-17 regular season. Henderson hasn’t officiated an NHL game since the hit.

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