The NHL has suspended Calgary Flames Dennis Wideman for 20 games becausecrosschecked a referee. The NHL Players Association has already filed an appeal to get the suspension reduced. “We strongly disagree with the League’s decision to suspend Dennis Wideman. 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.” Well this raises a question for me. Did the NHL Players Association watch the same video I did?
They said “the facts…clearly demonstrate that Dennis had no intention to make contact with the linesman.” However looking at the video, Wideman was skating to the bench, appears to look up, and continues to skate before finally laying the hit on the referee. I know the players need to look after each other, but you have to admit when you’re wrong! Seriously just look at the video and you can tell Wideman looked up and still continued ahead and rammed the official. By continuing to not admit to this, you’re just making the NHL look bad.
It’s almost as if anytime there is a suspension among the players then the NHLPA has to defend them and the league is always wrong on length of suspension. But in this case I strongly feel that the NHLPA is in the wrong. There is no defense for a guy to take at least five seconds to skate to the bench, look up, see the referee and still cross check the crap out of him and then say “it was an accident.” Thankfully the referee wasn’t hurt or else Wideman could have been in a lot more trouble than he already is. Here are some words of advice for the NHLPA; don’t automatically assume that the League is wrong. Take leadership and admit that your player screwed up. Rant over.