Flames' Dennis Wideman on nailing linesman: 'I couldn't avoid it'
Here's Dennis Wideman's explanation for what happened with linesman Don Henderson on Wednesday night: The official popped up out of nowhere, and Wideman couldn't figure out what to do, so he whacked him across the back with his stick.
OK, that's not exactly how the Calgary Flames defenseman put it, but that's the essence of it.
His actual quotes, first via SportsNet:
"I was just trying to get off the ice. And, at the last second, I looked up and saw him. I couldn't avoid it. I didn't know where to go or how to get out of the way of him."
More via the Calgary Sun:
"Throughout my career I think I've treated every official with the utmost respect and I would never try to intentionally hit a linesman or a ref or anything like that.
"It was completely unintentional, and I already apologized to him. Obviously, I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner and had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and neck and was just trying to get off the ice.
"I was kind of keeled over and at the last second I saw him and I couldn't avoid it. I went up to Donnie and apologized. I couldn't see him and didn't know where to go or how to get away from him."
Does that jibe with the above video? And is that the story Wideman wants to stick with when he faces the NHL disciplinarians?
According to NHL Rule 40.2, any player who deliberately strikes an official will face at least a 20-game suspension pic.twitter.com/VZ5FzmTB46— 120 Sports (@120Sports) January 28, 2016