Dennis Wideman must not have been paying enough attention to Deflategate or else he would have stuck his cellphone under a Zamboni before appealing his 20-game suspension for knocking linesman Don Henderson to the ice with a cross-check to the back on Jan. 27.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the suspension for the Calgary Flames defenseman on Wednesday. The decision partially hinged on how Wideman had no remorse for his actions, according to a text message he sent to a teammate. Earlier this month, after he appeared before Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president and director of hockey operations, Wideman texted the following: "The only problem and the only reason I’m here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media."
In his decision, Bettman said: "I am troubled by Mr. Wideman’s total failure to accept any responsibility for his actions. Indeed, although he made much at the hearing about the apologies he had already made to Mr. Henderson, the sincerity of those apologies rings somewhat hollow given the text message he sent to a teammate on February 2."
The NHL had the right to access Wideman’s text messages under the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association, SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman writes.
As you likely recall, the NFL couldn’t do the same with Tom Brady during the Deflategate investigation — and then we learned that Brady’s cellphone had been destroyed.
If only Wideman had thought about how the NHL would be checking his texts, then he could have sent something like this: "Gosh, golly gee, I really deserve this suspension for my dastardly act, because officials should receive our utmost respect as hockey’s keepers of the rules. I respect them just as much as I do the NHL’s top executives."
That’s probably laying it on a little too thick, though.