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NHL linesman Henderson required neck surgery after Wideman hit, friends fear his career may be over

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On 31/07/2016 at 10:55 PM, apollo said:

Meh, honestly don't care about the lames enough to argue over it. 


Too bad it wasnt Sutherland or Devorski... 


OK nvm I kinda do wana argue a little... I think either of us could be correct to an extent, but one thing for sure is, it's not like he literally went to get to the refs area. It was all within vicinity of where he wanted to get to. Like had he chased the ref to the other side of the rink where the bench wasn't, for example the penalty box side... 


Regardless, he must have been extremely woozy and his decision making was off after being concussed. 

If he was woozy, he would have had difficulty skating (which we can see isn't the case in the replays). From there he has two options:

  1. Skate more directly to the boards in order to hold his balance and avoid further accidental contact. This would require the wherewithal that he was really hurt not always present in people with concussions.
  2. Skate more directly to his bench in order to cover as little ground as possible. Barring getting back into the play, which the mind sometimes wants to after regaining consciousness, he would have tried to get to his bench as soon as possible.

Instead we see him straighten up, signal the bench, and then alter his course from what was a direct line to the bench to end up directly in the path of the linesman. The only question for me is if he meant to do so to give himself a chance to hit the linesman, to move out of the way of the play that was starting to come back up ice (and the player replacing him), or a combination of both. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt on why he angled to the boards a little sooner than he would have if he was going directly to his bench, the action of cross checking (whether he knew it was a ref or not) is more deliberate than any accidental or defensive reaction.


And that last bit, combined with the previous information that strongly suggests he was aware of his surroundings, is what's important. Since he made an aggressive action that ended in injury to an official, he qualifies for Rule 40.2 Category I (which has an automatic minimum suspension of 20 games):


40.2 Automatic Suspension - Category I

Any player or goalkeeper who deliberately strikes an official and causes injury or who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official with intent to injure, or who in any manner attempts to injure an official shall be automatically suspended for not less than twenty (20) games. (For the purpose of the rule, "intent to injure" shall mean any physical force which a player or goalkeeper knew or should have known could reasonably be expected to cause injury.)

I underlined the important part for Wideman's case. He cross checked the linesman and it resulted in injury so it's 20 games.


So, had he chased the ref to the other side of the ice, it would have certainly been far more than 20 games. I'd agree his decision making was off, but he wasn't unaware of what he was doing. Since they can't prove more though because of the small amount of uncertainty, they went with the automatic and minimum suspension of 20 games.

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If it was true that Wideman suffered a brain injury as a result of the Salomaki hit, why didn't the Flames trainers make a statement confirming this at his hearing?

(And please don't cite the medical 'experts' testimony at the hearing, it was made clear that they never diagnosed Wideman, their statements were all circumstantial)



It seems obvious to me. The Salomaki hit hurt Wideman, and as a result, he was royally pissed. So off to the bench he goes, fuming. No call on the play either, making it all the more infuriating. 


Henderson just happened to be in his way, and Wideman decided to dish out a little punishment. He was so angry, he felt no remorse and literally did not break stride returning to the bench.


That was a hit out of anger. It wasn't some 'dazed and confused' accidental collision. 


To suggest this to be true would be to suggest that Wideman miraculously recovered in a matter of minutes from being ' unaware of his surroundings' to being able to finish the game. 



To me, this is worse than Bertuzzi/Moore. Players are expected to engage in contact, but there IS NEVER a situation where it should be considered permissible to intentionally hit an official.


It takes an Olympic-sized amount of mental gymnastics to even attempt to defend Wideman's actions.

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On 7/30/2016 at 9:31 PM, Odd. said:

This also reminds me of the Brian McGrattan/Andrew Alberts situation a few years ago. Alberts still has headaches and brain problems and probably will never get back to 100% in his life again. Concussion's suck, especially the above incident where the hit looked predatory more so accidental. I don't buy it that it was accidental but I may be wrong. Who knows.

Having had 5 'good' bad concussions, and knowing the feelings of being sensitive to light, the headaches, vertigo, nausea etc. if his is as bad or worse than mine (which it likely could be) I feel for the dude.  

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On July 31, 2016 at 1:36 PM, Toews said:

With the way the rules have set up its a 20 game suspension at the most. The NHL doesn't have the authority to suspend him more than that. The refs union knows that there is no way they can push for more.

Untrue, a 20 game suspension is the minimum for intentionally hitting a ref. Minimum, not the maximum.

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